Feb. 16, 2009
STANFORD, Calif. -
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This Week On the Net Ten Goals in Ten Minutes Stanford, Syracuse in the Rankings Tuesday's Opponent: Albany Friday's Opponent: Syracuse Lacrosse Legend The Series Goalscoring Variety Read Wins MPSF Player of the Week The Schedule MPSF Tournament Coming to Stanford Season Highs
No. 18 Stanford opened the season 2-0, but the schedule toughens considerably when the Cardinal plays host to Albany (1-0) on Tuesday and No. 2 Syracuse (1-0) on Friday. Syracuse is coached by Gary Gait, widely considered the greatest lacrosse player of all time and still an active professional player, and was an NCAA semifinalist last season.
Both the Albany and Syracuse games will be shown live via streaming video. The free webcasts can be found on gostanford.com. Look for the All-Access button on top of the home page, or clink on the "Watch" link on bottom of the page in the Calendar of Events. Chris Fitzgerald will call the play-by-play for both CardCam webcasts. However, there will be no live stats for these events.
Stanford opened its home-opener against Fresno State with Sarah Flynn's goal in the first 10 seconds. The Cardinal kept coming at the first-year program with three goals in the first minute, 10 goals in the first 10 minutes, and 16 in the first half. In all, 13 players scored for Stanford in the 20-1 victory, and goalie Annie Read helped hold an opponent to the fewest goals against the Cardinal in 10 years, since a 16-0 victory over Saint Mary's on March 6, 1999. Karen Nesbitt led the team with three goals and five players had two.
Of the four rankings (IWLCA, Inside Lacrosse, Lacrosse Magazine, and WomensLax.com), Syracuse is No. 2 in each, behind defending champion Northwestern. Stanford is No. 18 in the IWLCA coaches' poll, No. 16 in the Inside Lacrosse media poll, No. 19 by Lacrosse Magazine, and unranked by WomensLax.com. Albany is unranked among all four.
The Great Danes (8-9 last season) opened their season Sunday at Saint Mary's, beating the Gaels 14-9. Five Albany players scored two goals apiece and nine scored overall as Albany broke open a one-goal game with four in a 10-minute span of the second half. The Great Danes are led by junior Kayla Best, a two-time All-American East Conference first-team selection. Best led the team in scoring last year with 45 goals and seven assists, and scored at least one goal in 30 consecutive games. After scoring two goals and two assists against Saint Mary's, Best enters Tuesday's game needing only two points to reach 100 for her career. She would become the 11th in school history to do so.
The Orange has participated in six NCAA tournaments since 2000 and reached the 2008 semifinals before losing to eventual champion Northwestern, 16-6. Syracuse (18-3 last year) is a two-time Big East Conference champion and was picked by conference coaches to win the title again. Senior Katie Rowan was named Big East Preseason Offensive Player of the Year and junior Lindsay Rogers was named Preseason Defensive Player of the Year. Syracuse returns nine starters and 18 letterwinners from a team that set a school-record for victories. The Stanford game marks the first leg of a two-game Bay Area trip that also takes the Orange to Cal, for a noon Sunday game. Syracuse opened its season Sunday with a 21-4 victory over visiting Le Moyne in the Carrier Dome. Halley Quillinan and Rowan led the team with four goals apiece.
Second-year Syracuse coach Gary Gait is widely considered to be the greatest lacrosse player of all time. Now 41, Gait came out of a three-year retirement this season to play for the Rochester Knighthawks of the indoor professional National Lacrosse League, where he is coached by his brother, Paul Gait. Gary is the second leading all-time scorer in the history of the league, and has won six titles. At Syracuse, he was a two-time collegiate player of the year and played on three national championship teams. In his first season as Syracuse's coach, the Orange won its first Big East regular-season title, and followed with the conference tournament crown on the way to earning the most victories (18) in school history.
Stanford has faced Syracuse once, losing 15-9, on Feb. 23, 2002, at Stanford. This will be Stanford's first meeting with Albany.
One of Stanford's strengths is its variety of scoring options, and that was proven in its first two victories. In all, 14 players have scored goals, including 13 in the 20-1 victory over Fresno State on Thursday. Ten players have scored multiple goals, and seven have three or more. The top goal-scorers are: Dana Lindsay (6), Karen Nesbitt (5) and Amanda Schwab (4). The top point-scorers (1 point for a goal, 1 for an assists) are Lindsay (8), Lauren Schmidt (7) and Karen Nesbitt (6).
Sophomore goalie Annie Read is the reigning Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Player of the Week for her role in limiting Fresno State to one goal, the fewest Stanford has allowed since 1999. Read made two strong stops in the later stages of Thursday's game in an effort to earn a rare shutout, one on a breakaway and another on a free-position shot.
The Cardinal will take on seven of the IWLCA's preseason Top 20 teams, including five among the top 11. Of its games against ranked opponents, only two are at home: No. 2 Syracuse on Friday, and No. 19 Denver on April 10, while Stanford also has a chance for a rematch against Denver at the MPSF tournament at Stanford April 23-26. Road games will be played at No. 5 Penn (May 2), No. 6 Maryland (March 29), No. 9 North Carolina (April 19), No. 11 Notre Dame (Feb. 28) and No. 15 Johns Hopkins (March 27).
The conference tournament will be played at Stanford for the first time since 2003 when the Cardinal played in the Mountain Pacific Lacrosse League. This year's six-team Mountain Pacific Sports Federation event will be held from April 23-26 at Laird Q. Cagan Stadium, with the championship final scheduled for Sunday at 1 p.m. If the 2003 tournament is any indication, the home field advantage could be big. That year, the Cardinal beat UC Davis in the semifinals, 19-3, and followed with a 15-14 championship victory over California. Stanford scored four late unanswered goals and got a clutch save from goalie Christina Saikus to preserve the victory.
Most Goals: 20, vs. Fresno State (2/12)
Most Goals in a Half: 16, vs. Fresno State (2/12)
Fewest Goals: 1, vs. Fresno State (2/12)
Fewest Goals in a Half: 0 (first), vs. Fresno State (2/12)
On the Net
Ten Goals in Ten Minutes
Stanford, Syracuse in the Rankings
Tuesday's Opponent: Albany
Friday's Opponent: Syracuse
Read Wins MPSF Player of the Week
MPSF Tournament Coming to Stanford