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Stanford Women's Lacrosse Season Wrap-Up
Courtesy: Stanford Athletics  
Release: 05/12/2005

May 12, 2005

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Stanford, Calif. - The 2005 season saw the Stanford women's lacrosse team return to its place among the nation's top lacrosse programs. Already a dominant force on the West Coast, the Cardinal proved itself against some of the country's top competition and capped the season with a seven-game winning streak. Head coach Michele Uhlfelder's squad captured the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation title and finished the season with a No. 18 IWLCA ranking, but ultimately fell short of its goal of becoming the first West Coast program to be selected to compete in the NCAA Tournament.

Facing a very competitive schedule that included numerous nationally recognized programs, the Cardinal finished the season with a 13-5 overall record. Stanford captured first place in the conference with a perfect 5-0 record, and avenged a loss to Cal in last season's MPSF Championship game with a 12-9 triumph over the Golden Bears on May 7. The Cardinal extended its regular season conference winning streak to 31 games, including games played in the WWLL, MPLL, and MPSF leagues.

Senior Nina Pantano capped her collegiate career by capturing tournament MVP honors at the MPSF Championship.

Stanford started the year with a bang, recording three straight MPSF wins on the road to begin the campaign. The Cardinal was part of history in the season-opener, handing Oregon a 19-6 defeat in the Ducks' first-ever varsity lacrosse contest. Stanford then recorded wins over Saint Mary's (14-5) and UC Davis (11-4) to improve to 3-0. Senior Kelsey Twist set the program's single-game assist record with five against the Gaels and earned Player of the Week honorable mention honors from Inside Lacrosse Magazine and for her efforts, while junior Sarah Bach received MPSF Player of the Week honors after scoring 11 goals in the season's first three games.

The Cardinal returned to The Farm for the first home games of the season and suffered two straight defeats, falling 8-7 to UConn and dropping a 10-6 decision to then-No. 5 ranked Georgetown in the fifth annual deBeer East/West Challenge. Following a week off, the Cardinal rebounded to record home victories over Colgate (12-7) and Cornell (8-4).

Stanford headed to Nashville over Easter weekend to take on then-No. 6 ranked Duke and then-No. 19 ranked Vanderbilt. After the Blue Devils dispatched the Cardinal by an 18-1 score, the squad played Vanderbilt down to the wire before being edged by a goal, 10-9.

Coach Uhlfelder's squad returned home with a 5-4 record and found themselves in a must-win situation as MPSF foe California came to Maloney Field on April 1. The Cardinal were up to the challenge and remained undefeated in conference play with a narrow 11-10 victory over the Golden Bears.

It was back out on the road for Stanford following the emotional victory over Cal, and a formidable opponent awaited the team in No. 1 ranked Northwestern. The Cardinal played a spirited contest but fell, 16-3, in what would be the team's last loss of the season. Stanford finished up the Midwest swing on April 10, battling Notre Dame to a 5-5 draw late in the contest before senior Nina Pantano scored an unassisted goal with 18 seconds remaining to lift the Cardinal to victory. Freshman goalkeeper Laura Shane was tabbed for MPSF Co-Player of the Week honors after making 24 saves and collecting five ground balls in the games against Northwestern and Notre Dame.

Junior Sarah Bach led the team with 40 goals in 2005.

The squad then returned home and recorded its first victory over a nationally ranked opponent with a 9-8 triumph over then-No. 19 ranked Yale. Bach provided the heroics in the win over the Bulldogs, registering an unassisted game-winning goal with less than a minute left. Stanford then closed out the season's home slate on April 17 with a 17-14 win over Denver to secure the top seed in the MPSF Championship tournament.

Bursting with confidence, the Cardinal recorded a pair of road wins over tough opponents to close out the regular season, defeating Loyola for the first time in program history (20-16) and knocking off Ohio State (13-7) the following weekend.

Stanford headed into the MPSF Championship with its sights set on capturing the conference title that eluded them last season, and got the tournament off to a good start with a 14-6 win over UC Davis in the semifinals. In a rematch of the 2004 championship game, the Cardinal avenged last year's defeat with a 12-9 victory over California. Pantano was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player, while Bach, Twist, and junior Megan Burker were named to the All-Tournament Team.

Several players made their impact felt in the Cardinal record books during the 2005 campaign. Twist moved into second place on the career scoring chart with 119 goals, and remained the program's career leader in assists (70) and draw controls (161). Bach's team-leading 40 goals tied for the fifth highest single-season total in program history, and she moved into a tie for seventh place on the career goals list with 69. Shane collected 204 saves on the season, the second highest single season total in program history, and recorded a .560 save percentage that ranked as the sixth best in the nation and the second highest ever posted by a Cardinal goalkeeper.

Overall Record: 13-5
MPSF Record:5-0
Home Record: 5-2
Away Record: 6-2
Neutral Record: 2-1
Non-Conference Record: 6-5
Final IWLCA Ranking: 18



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