March 1, 2012
STANFORD, Calif. - No. 16 Stanford responded to a tough early start to the season with a come-from-behind win over No. 9 James Madison last weekend. The result put the Cardinal season back on track as it navigates a brutal early non-conference schedule. It will not get any easier this weekend as the Cardinal host No. 11 Vanderbilt on Saturday, March 3, at 1pm.
Stanford dropped 10 spots in the latest IWLCA poll, but that reflects its first three games. The win over James Madison reestablishes Stanford as a national contender. Despite, the 1-3 start, Stanford has played its toughest competition early in the season, but that continues with Vanderbilt.
Vanderbilt is off to a 1-1 start and it was the Commodores that ended Stanford's 8-0 start to last season by winning 15-10 in Nashville. Overall, Stanford and Vanderbilt have split the all-time series, 4-4. Stanford last defeated the Commodores in March of 2010 at Cagan Stadium when Vanderbilt was ranked No. 14 in the nation. The Cardinal won that game 14-9 on their way to the first of back-to-back NCAA tournament seasons under Amy Bokker.
This season, Stanford has been led by seniors Emilie Boeri, Anna Boeri and Catherine Swanson. Both Boeri sisters have eight goals on the season to tie for the team lead with Anna Kim. Emilie is coming off a five goal and three assist week that earned her MPSF Player of the Week honors as well as being named national player of the week by WomensLax.com.
Swanson has scored seven goals, but also leads the Cardinal with 13 draw controls. She has stepped into the role vacated by Leslie Foard last season, being a force on draws and strong all-around play at both ends of the field.
Defensively, Stanford is led by Lyndsey Munoz in goal. The sophomore has already recorded 43 saves on the season, which ranks second in the nation.
Vanderbilt is off to a 1-1 start, although it too has played a tough early-season schedule. The Commodores opened with an upset of No. 5 Duke, before losing to No. 2 North Carolina last weekend. Vanderbilt returns a strong senior class, including All-American Ally Carey that hopes to bring the Commodores back to the NCAA tournament after missing last season for the first time in five years. Carey leads Vanderbilt with four goals and has 29 goals and 11 assists a year ago.
Following the Vanderbilt game, the Cardinal plays New Hampshire next weekend before a long road swing. The Wildcats will come to Cagan on Sunday, March 11, at 1pm.