Feb. 22, 2010
Stanford, Calif. - The No. 13 women's lacrosse team (1-1) will get its home schedule underway this weekend versus a pair of nationally ranked opponents. The Cardinal will open on Friday, February 26, at 4:00 pm, when they face No. 1 Northwestern. The Cardinal will follow that up with a game versus No. 16 Ohio State on Sunday, February 28, at 1:00 pm. Both games will be at Laird Q. Cagan Stadium and offer free admission.
Live video streaming for both games will be available. The webcasts can be found on gostanford.com under Stanford All-Access. Look for the All-Access button at the top of the main page, or go to the Calendar of Events at the bottom, and click on the "Watch" icon. In addition, fans can follow the games on gametracker free of charge.
The Cardinal began the season last weekend with a road split at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, N.Y. Stanford opened with a convincing 16-9 win over Le Moyne, led by Sarah Flynn who scored five goals. On Sunday, Stanford fell to No. 6 Syracuse, 16-7, after falling behind early.
The home opener with Northwestern should prove to be a difficult test for the Cardinal early in the season. Not only are the Wildcats ranked No. 1 in the country, but they have won the last five NCAA titles. They are led by Katrina Dowd who scored 75 goals last season and was named an All-American and MVP of the NCAA Championship.
Northwestern holds a 4-1 advantage in the all-time series, although the Cardinal won the last meeting in 2003. In a sport mostly dominated by East Coast teams, the game will offer the top two programs not located near the Atlantic.
Stanford will compete the weekend with a matchup against Ohio State. The Buckeyes enter Sundays game with a 1-1 record after falling on the road to No. 20 William & Mary, before blowing out American in its home opener. Last season, Ohio State finished with a record of 16-8 and did not advance to the NCAA tournament.
Stanford and Ohio State have split six previous meetings with Stanford winning the last two. The Cardinal defeated Ohio State 17-9 in 2006 in the last meeting. The Buckeyes are led by Kelly Haggarty and Alayna Markwordt who are each coming off four goal performances in the win over American.
Stanford is looking for some big non-conference wins early in 2010. Head coach Amy Bokker made this a point of emphasis this season after Stanford was not selected to the 2009 NCAA tournament despite a conference championship and a 14-4 overall record. This season, the Cardinal improved its strength of schedule in attempt to improve its RPI ranking for the NCAA selection committee.
In addition, a change in the tournament selection process give the MPSF an automatic bid to an NCAA play-in game, meaning if the Cardinal can repeat as conference champions for a sixth-straight time, they will play in this year's NCAA tournament.