May 6, 2006
Eugene, Ore. - With Bay Area bragging rights and a place in the MPSF championship game on the line, the Cardinal women's lacrosse team pounded the California Golden Bears this afternoon, 17-6. The resounding 11-goal win, matching the largest so far in the tournament, avenges an early season loss to the Bears and propels the Cardinal into tomorrow's championship match on a six-game run. Stanford improves to 11-5 with the win, while Cal falls to 8-10.
Stanford came out aggressive on the defensive end but early fouling by the Cardinal gave Cal the initial momentum. Within 43 seconds of the opening draw, junior Laura Cavallo had put the Bears on top with a free position shot from the left side. Junior Michelle DeChant quickly answered for the Cardinal, one-touching a pass from sophomore Daphne Patterson past Cal goalkeeper Hilary Lynch. Mary Downs took back the lead for Cal, before sophomore Megan McClain spun around a defender to tie the score at two apiece.
The squads traded two more rounds of back-and-forth scoring until Patterson rocketed a shot past Lynch to give Stanford its first lead. Sophomore Danni Zuralow evened the score with just under six minutes left to play in the first half, but senior Megan Burker put a ball in the back of the net from long-range to give the Cardinal a lead it would never relinquish. A free position shot by junior Liz Piselli sent Stanford into the break with a 7-5 lead.
The Cardinal emerged in the second half having had enough of the tight back-and-forth play which characterized the first period. Junior Bryanne Gilkinson found Sarah Bach in front of an open goal to kick off a half dominated by the Cardinal. The Stanford offense overwhelmed the Bears with 10 goals in the period, including the final eight of the game. The Cardinal defense held the Bears to just a single goal in the final 35:43 of play and held them scoreless for the final 20 minutes.
In the second half assault, the Cardinal took 19 shots and won 10-of-12 draw controls. Patterson scored four of her five goals, and Burker knocked in a pair. Overall, the Cardinal out-shot the Bears 33-26. Goalkeeper Laura Shane posted another outstanding performance, with 12 saves in the match, including eight in the second half. Burker led the Cardinal with five draw controls.
Patterson led all scorers with a career-high five goals. Burker netted four to bring her career total to 136, just six short of a Stanford career record. DeChant recorded her second hat trick of the season, while McClain contributed two goals. Bach and Piselli each tallied one, and freshman Jamie Nesbitt beat out a pack of defenders to score the sixth goal of her career. Cal was led by Cavallo and Zuralow with two goals each.