Oct. 15, 2008
STANFORD, Calif. - New Stanford women's lacrosse coach Amy Bokker and her staff will continue to get a closer look at their team when its fall schedule resumes with a home game against Oregon on Saturday.
The Cardinal takes on Oregon on the Intramural South Field at 1 p.m. in the only intercollegiate home game during a fall schedule that includes three October tournaments.
Bokker got her first competitive look at the Cardinal at the Beanpot Tournament in Boston, Oct. 4-5. Stanford played high-quality competition, such as the 2008 NCAA quarterfinalist Boston University and the Canadian national team, and came away pleased.
"We wanted to run different things and get them out of their comfort zone," said Bokker, who installed an up-tempo offense and high-pressure defense. "It was a lot about seeing them in a competitive environment and trying lots of different combinations. It helped us make some good evaluations."
The schedule was difficult. After a long red-eye flight, Stanford arrived at 6:30 a.m. on Saturday and had to play two games that day, at noon and 2 p.m., against Boston University and Team Canada.
On Sunday, a three-game stretch began at 8 a.m. (5 a.m. PDT), with games against Harvard, Boston College and Albany.
Scores were not kept.
The schedule was doubly tough for Bokker and assistant coach Brooke McKenzie, who were also part of the Canadian team. Bokker is an assistant and McKenzie a player for Canada. They shuffled back and forth between each team's games. When Stanford played Canada, Bokker coached Stanford and McKenzie played for Canada.
The opportunity to play against Stanford in a competitive game gave McKenzie greater insight into her players.
"There are some things you don't get to see on the sidelines," McKenzie said. "I'm an attacker, so I can see the defense, and how their sliding or moving, and how they communicate."
Bokker said she came away from the tournament with the understanding that "we definitely need to manage our half-court game a little better."
Stanford will get that chance against Oregon, and again on Sunday at the Cal Tournament, during which the Cardinal will play Cal, UC Davis and Saint Mary's.
During the regular season, Stanford will play a strong schedule, making three East Coast trips to take on the likes of NCAA 2008 runner-up Penn, semifinalist Syracuse, quarterfinalist Maryland. The Cardinal also will head to Notre Dame, to play another 2008 tournament team.
"It's always been my philosophy to put yourself against the best during the season, so you into the postseason ready to play," Bokker said.
Highlighting the home schedule will be William & Mary, which was captained last season by new Stanford assistant Jaime Sellers, and Louisville. Stanford also hosts the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation tournament April 23-26 at Laird Q. Cagan Stadium.