May 4, 2013
EUGENE, Ore. - The Stanford women's lacrosse team claimed its eighth Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Tournament title in nine years Saturday, as it defeated top-seeded Denver, 7-6.
With the victory, Stanford earned the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament and will find out its first-round matchup on Sunday at 6 p.m. (PT).
The championship match was a tight-knit affair that saw the MPSF's top two teams tied or separated by just a goal for a majority of the match.
"We really stuck to our game plan and worked those great possessions and waited for our opportunities," head coach Amy Bokker said. "I thought the defensive end and Lyndsey [Munoz] played outstanding."
Goalkeeper Lyndsey Munoz had a great game, making 10 saves - including a free-position stop with just 33 seconds on the clock to preserve a one goal lead. Munoz also picked up a team-best four ground balls.
"She was really locked in all tournament so I hope this gives her a lot of confidence going into the NCAA Tournament," Bokker said. "She did awesome and was really focused, and knew she wanted to win a championship."
Stanford had a balanced scoring attack, getting two goals from Hannah Farr, Anna Kim and Lucy Dikeou. Rachel Ozer also found the back of the net, increasing her team-leading season total to 47.
Farr was named the MPSF Tournament Most Outstanding Player and was joined on the all-tournament team by Munoz, Kim, Dikeou and Elizabeth Adam.
For the second consecutive game, Stanford started the game hot, scoring three times in the first 8:55 and holding Denver scoreless until almost halfway through the half.
However, the 11th-ranked and regular season MPSF champions Denver responded with three goals of its own in a 7:37 span to knot the game at 3-3.
The Pioneers continued to pressure the remainder of the half, but Munoz made five saves to keep Denver off the board in the final 8:28.
After Denver opened the second half on a 2-1 scoring run in the first 13:01 that put the Pioneers up 5-4, Stanford rallied for its second three-goal scoring streak of the match.
Dikeou got the rally going with a goal at the 12:17 mark, followed by a man-up, free-position goal from Kim at 11:23 to put Stanford up 6-5 - its first lead since 8:28 remaining in the first half.
Farr capped the run with her second on the day with 7:04 remaining to stretch Stanford's lead to 7-5.
With a two-goal advantage, Stanford shifted into a possession-oriented offense to try to run out the clock and secure the victory. However, Denver capitalized after a Cardinal turnover and scored with 2:44 remaining, leading to a tense final minutes.
The Stanford defense was up to the challenge and closed the game out strong, stopping multiple Denver opportunities to secure the victory.
Bokker was happy with the way her team competed and along with her players, credited her assistant coaches - Brooke Eubanks, Lauren Schwarzmann and Molly Lapolla - and her entire staff for putting together a great game plan and making significant contributions throughout the season to prepare the team for success.
Stanford will receive its NCAA First Round matchup on Sunday at 6 p.m. (PT) during a selection show webcast on NCAA.com.
"I'm so excited to represent Stanford on the national level," Bokker said. "These were our goals all season, to win the MPSF Championship and compete in the NCAA Tournament so we're really looking forward to it."