April 12, 2009
STANFORD, Calif. - Maris Perlman tied a school record by causing five turnovers to lead Stanford to a 13-4 victory over rival Cal on Sunday and complete an undefeated conference season.
Perlman, one of four seniors honored at their final conference home game, led an aggressive defensive attack that held the Golden Bears to their lowest scoring total in the series since 2002.
Stanford (9-3 overall), ranked No. 14 in the nation, clinched the top seed and a first-round bye in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation tournament by finishing conference play at 6-0. The tournament, to be held at Stanford's Laird Q. Cagan Stadium from April 23-26, will determine the MPSF title and Stanford will be shooting for its fifth consecutive crown and 12th conference title in 15 years.
"Our goal was to come through MPSF undefeated, and we did," Stanford coach Amy Bokker said. "I attribute it to the depth we have on our team."
Stanford pounded the Cal goal with 36 shots and forced 13 saves from a pair of goalkeepers. Meanwhile, Annie Read made eight saves for Stanford.
A victory by Cal (5-10, 3-2) could have put the Golden Bears in position for the No. 1 seed. But Stanford took the Bears out of it early by scoring the first four goals and building a 9-2 lead by late in the first half.
Perlman set the tone defensively by causing turnovers, tying the number she caused in a victory over Albany on Feb. 18, and equaling a Stanford single-game record achieved 10 times by seven individuals. However, Perlman, who has played in every game in her collegiate career, suffered an injury late in the game and had to be removed.
In all, five Stanford players forced multiple turnovers, including Flynn with three.
"We talked about putting more pressure on the midfielders," said Stanford coach Amy Bokker, whose team forced 19 Cal turnovers. "We want our attackers to be the first line of defense."
Stanford has extended its conference winning streak to nine and advances directly to an MPSF semifinal on April 24 at 6 p.m. against the winner of the April 23 quarterfinal between the Nos. 4 and 5 seeds. At the moment, those teams would be Cal and UC Davis, respectively.
An undefeated conference season is nothing new to Stanford, having accomplished the feat eight times in its 15-year history, but not since 2005.
Stanford 13, Cal 4
California 3 1 - 4
Stanford 9 4 - 13
C - Alex Tickner (2 goals, 0 assists), Catie O'Mahoney (1-0), Sam Price (1-0).
S - Karen Nesbitt (3-0), Sarah Flynn (3-0), Claire Hubbard (2-1), Lauren Schmidt (2-1), Leslie Foard (2-0), Amanda Schwab (1-0), Bess Siegfried (0-2), Dana Lindsay (0-1).
Records - Stanford 9-3, 6-0; Cal 5-10, 3-2.