By Jeremy Rubin
In a true team effort, Stanford women’s lacrosse (10-0, 7-0 Pac-12) downed Arizona State (10-6, 5-4 Pac-12) 18-11 on The Farm on Thursday. The win maintained the Cardinal’s perfect season and punched the team’s ticket to Saturday’s Pac-12 Championship.
On offense, senior attack Ali Baiocco and fifth year midfielder Mikaela Watson netted four goals apiece. Senior attack Katherine Gjertsen and freshman midfield Ailish Kelly added three each for the top-ranked Cardinal.
After two scores from the Sun Devils and a scoreless first seven minutes for Stanford, the Cardinal connected on four straight to take the early lead led by the team’s strong upperclassman presence. Fifth year midfield Daniella McMahon started the rally and was followed up in the next five minutes with goals from fifth year midfield Genesis Lucero, Watson and Gjertsen.
Although the score was Lucero’s sole goal of the match, her presence was felt in numerous facets of the game. Lucero finished Thursday with 10 draw controls along with two assists. Both assists came within 30 seconds of each other to extend Stanford’s lead from 13-10 to 15-10. Two Cardinal scores later provided the team with a seven-goal cushion with just under three minutes left, allowing Stanford to ride out the rest of the way to victory.
Stanford outdid Arizona State in nearly every counting statistic, more than doubling its number of shots on goal (36-17) and winning the turnover battle (18-16). One of the lone advantages was in goal, where sophomore goalkeeper Kara Rahaim finished with six saves while Sun Devils’ goalkeeper Berkeley Bonneau had 18. It will be Rahaim’s team that advances to the next round, however, and the sophomore moved to 5-0 while in goal.
The Cardinal will face the University of Colorado (7-6, 4-3 Pac-12) in the Pac-12 Championship final. The game will take place at Stanford Stadium on Saturday at 12 p.m. PT.