April 30, 2006
Cambridge, Mass. - In the final game of the regular-season, the Stanford women's lacrosse team proved that it is more than capable of competing with the best programs in the nation, as it pulled a 5-4 upset over No. 10 Cornell this afternoon at Jordan Field in Cambridge, Mass. The win was just the second in history over the Big Red, who clinched their first-ever share of the Ivy League title Friday night. Cornell falls to 11-3, while the Cardinal extends its winning streak to five games and climbs to 10-5.
Tight defense by both teams kept the game scoreless for nearly ten minutes, but Cornell sophomore Noelle Dowd broke the stalemate with a free position goal at the 9:12 mark. Stanford battled back to even the score on a well-placed shot by freshman Jamie Nesbitt and took the lead six minutes later when senior Megan Burker knocked in a free position attempt. Just 41 seconds later, Big Red freshman Jessica Wiegand scored to tie the game at 2-2, but Daphne Patterson responded for Stanford to give the Cardinal a 3-2 halftime advantage.
Motivated by the early lead, the Cardinal came out strong in the second period, and scored twice in the first 5:20. Patterson reeled in a pass from junior Liz Piselli for her second goal of the match before Burker knocked in her second to give the Cardinal a 5-2 lead.
Cornell was not ready to give up, however, and finally ended a 25:11 scoreless streak with another goal by Dowd. The Cardinal defense held the Big Red off for another 13-minute span before senior Allison Schindler scored on a free position shot to pull Cornell within one. Schindler won the ensuing draw to give her team a key possession, but Tewaaraton candidate Laura Shane would come through for Stanford to deny the equalizer. With the clock ticking down, the Cardinal keeper made a key save on a shot by Dowd, but Cornell junior Alison McKeown quickly checked the ball out of Shane's stick. McKeown fed the ball to Dowd, who was all alone at the net but Shane recovered to knock the shot off target and secure the Stanford win.
The Cardinal was led in scoring by Burker and Patterson, who each scored a pair. Nesbitt rounded out the Stanford scoring while Piselli and senior Sarah Bach each tallied assists. Dowd led the Big Red with two goals on the afternoon. Stanford out-shot Cornell 27-24 and won 5-of-11 draw controls.
Stanford's defense was the key to the victory, however, as Shane made 14 saves, including eight in the second half. Bri Ned led the back line with two caused turnovers and the team as a whole broke up six Cornell clears.
Stanford travels to Eugene, Ore. next weekend to begin their defense of the MPSF Tournament title. The first round begins Friday, with Stanford set to begin play in the semifinals Saturday afternoon.