April 19, 2009
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Stanford answered No. 4 North Carolina goal for goal until the final minutes of a 13-10 loss in nonconference women's lacrosse play on Sunday.
Three times the Cardinal fell behind, and three times Stanford rallied to tie on a goal by a Nesbitt sister - twice by Karen and once by Jamie. But North Carolina's Jenn Russell broke a 9-9 tie with 21:31 left and the Tar Heels were able to control the pace and the ball the rest of the way, scoring three late unanswered goals.
"It was a great effort," Stanford coach Amy Bokker said. "We fell behind, but we made good adjustments. We felt like we were in it the whole time."
The Nesbitt sisters combined for four goals, with Karen Nesbitt getting two and completing a strong performance by winning three draw controls, causing three turnovers, and gathering three gound balls.
Once North Carolina pulled ahead in the second half, it began to play a slow-down offense. However, No. 15 Stanford could remain patient defensively for only so long before going changing into a more aggressive scheme to force turnovers. With the defensive gambling, North Carolina (13-3) exploited Stanford with three answered goals in the final minutes to increase its lead.
"We really believe we can compete with teams in that Top 5 level," Bokker said. "Hopefully, our confidence is up going into the conference tournament.
Stanford next plays in the seven-team Mountain Pacific Sports Federation tournament, to be held at Stanford's Laird Q. Cagan Stadium April 23-26. The tournament determines the MPSF champion. Play begins Thursday with games at 1 p.m., 3:30 and 6. Stanford has won the event the past four years.
Stanford, the MPSF regular season champion at 6-0, gets a first-round bye and advances directly to Friday's semifinal (6 p.m.) against the winner of the Denver-UC Davis first-round game. The championship is Sunday at 1 p.m.
North Carolina 13, Stanford 10
Stanford 5 5 - 10
North Carolina 7 6 - 13
S - Lauren Schmidt (2 goals, 1 assist), Karen Nesbitt (2-0), Sarah Flynn (2-0), Jamie Nesbitt (2-0), Leslie Foard (1-0), Amanda Schwab (1-0), Claire Hubbard (0-1), Dana Lindsay (0-1).
NC - Kristen Taylor (5-1), Jenn Russell (2-1), Megan Bosica (1-1), Laura Zimmerman (1-0), Corey Donohue (1-0), Kelly Taylor (1-0), Chelsea Parks (1-0), Katie Brooks (1-0), Becky Lynch (0-1).
Records - Stanford (10-4), North Carolina (13-3).