May 1, 2008
Third-seed Stanford was tied with second-seeded California early in the second of their MPSF Championship semifinal on Thursday at Memorial Stadium and held off the Golden Bears 11-8 to advance to their third straight MPSF Championship game. It is also the third straight championship game against Denver. The Cardinal has held off the Pioneers the last two years by the score of 12-6 and 12-11 respectively.
Stanford was led by freshman Karen Nesbitt, who scored three goals in the contest. Senior goalkeeper Laura Shane also recorded 13 saves in the victory. Sophomore Julie Christy continued her strong tournament and scored two goals against the Golden Bears. Christy now has five goals in the MPSF Tournament after scoring three in the first round against St. Mary's.
Danni Zuralow led off the scoring when she scored on a free position shot just 1:22 into the match. Senior Megan McClain responded two minutes later, but Alyse Kennedy of California scored just eight seconds after McClain to help the Golden Bears regain the lead at 2-1.
After a goal by Christy, California responded with two more goals and held a 4-2 lead. The Cardinal took control of the game at this point as they scored seven of the next nine goals in the game and took a 4-2 deficit and turned it into a 9-6 lead. Nesbitt scored her first goal 19 minutes into the match and senior Daphne Patterson scored a goal six minutes after. The teams went into the locker room all tied up four, but the Cardinal would come out on fire as the second half began.
Sophomore Claire Hubbard scored a goal 36 seconds into the half and Patterson scored her second goal four minutes later.
California responded with two goals by Dale and Zuratow, to leave the game tied at six with 21 minutes remaining in the contest.
Stanford then scored the next three goals as freshman Leslie Foard connected at the 9:51 mark to help the Cardinal regain the lead. Christy and Nesbitt each scored their second goals of the game and the Cardinal pushed their lead out to 9-6, halfway through the second half.
Sophomore Dana Lindsay tacked on a goal with two minutes left and Stanford earned themselves a spot in the championship soon after.
The Cardinal will return to the field on Saturday, May 3 when the face off against aforementioned Denver in Berkeley, Calif. The match is set to begin at 1:00 p.m. and will be played at Memorial Stadium on the campus of UC Berkeley.
Stanford volunteer assistant coach Rachel Dyke, after the third-seeded defeated California, 11-8, in the May 1 MPSF semifinal game
"Our team came out really wanting it. It was back and forth in the first half. In the end, our consistency and our heart came through. Our diversity of playing style was really able to deliver. Cal is an excellent team; they have a lot of really great athletes. We appreciate the competition, and we're really happy we pulled it out."
"Denver's a really good team. They're a team we can beat; we know we can beat them. We went up 4-0 on them the first time we played them, but then we kind of beat ourselves. I think this team knows we can beat Denver. We know we can beat a good team."