Oct. 31, 2008
STANFORD, Calif. - The Stanford women's lacrosse team faces what must be regarded as one of the most demanding schedules in school history, when it begins play for the 2009 season in February.
First-year coach Amy Bokker announced a schedule that will include three East Coast trips and games against four 2008 NCAA tournament teams.
"It's always been my philosophy to put yourself against the best during the season, so you go into the postseason ready to play," Bokker said.
That's no lie. Of the Cardinal's 10 nonconference opponents, eight had winning records last season. The other two each went 8-9.
Among Stanford's opponents are NCAA 2008 runner-up Penn, semifinalist Syracuse, quarterfinalist Maryland, and Notre Dame, another NCAA tournament team. Stanford plays all four on the road. Those four teams were a combined 32-4 at home last season.
Stanford begins the season with a pair of Mountain Pacific Sports Federation games, at Oregon Feb. 7 and with a home opener Feb. 12 against first-year program Fresno State, which will be playing its first-ever road game.
As difficult as the schedule is, Stanford went a combined 8-4 last year against their 2009 opponents. And against those tournament teams, Stanford went 2-1, including a stunning 10-8 home victory over Penn. The Quakers only other loss came in the NCAA final.
Stanford also beat Notre Dame, 13-9.
Highlighting the home schedule will be William & Mary, which was captained last season by new Stanford assistant Jaime Sellers, and Louisville, a 12-4 team a year ago.
Stanford, 12-8 last year, also will play host to the MPSF tournament April 23-26 at Laird Q. Cagan Stadium. The Cardinal is the four-time defending conference champion.