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Stanford Lacrosse Begins New Era
Courtesy: Stanford Athletics  
Release: 02/05/2009

Feb. 5, 2009

Complete Release in PDF Format

STANFORD, Calif. -

New Beginnings
Stanford opens a new era on Saturday, one with a first-year coaching staff that hopes to build on its foundation as a West Coast power and raise the program to the level of national contender. Stanford's first shot comes Saturday when the Cardinal plays its season opener at Oregon in a 3 p.m. game at Pape Field. Stanford, in its 12th season with women's lacrosse as a varsity sport, is the four-time defending Mountain Pacific Sports Federation tournament champion and is ranked No. 18 in the national coaches' preseason poll and 19th in the Lacrosse Magazine rankings.

Meet the Coaches
Amy Bokker arrived at Stanford after serving as the head coach at George Mason for the past 11 seasons. Six of her teams finished ranked among the nation's Top 20. Among her accomplishments were coaching the Patriots to their first winning season (1998) and winningest season (2008). Including a season as head coach at American, Bokker has a career record of 94-102. The former Amy Umbach is a native of Phoenixville, Pa., and was a two-time All-Colonial Athletic Association first-team choice at William and Mary, where she also played field hockey. Bokker serves as an assistant coach to the Canadian national team, which will play in the Women's World Cup this summer.

Brooke McKenzie accompanied Bokker from George Mason where she served as an assistant coach for two seasons. McKenzie's main responsibilities are offense and recruiting. She was a four-year starting attacker at James Madison and helped the Dukes to three CAA titles and advanced twice to the NCAA quarterfinals. The Englewood, Colo., native is the daughter of 1980 Pittsburgh Penguin draft pick Steve McKenzie and plays for the Canadian national team, having learned earlier this week that she made the cut for the 2009 Women's World Cup squad.

Jaime Sellers is a first-year assistant coach, having graduated from William and Mary last spring after a 66-goal season that was good enough to break a school single-season record that had stood for more than 30 years. The All-CAA first team midfielder handles the defense as her main coaching responsibility.

Laura Shane is a volunteer assistant coach pursuing a Stanford master's degree in engineering. This comes after a playing career in which she was named second-team All-American in 2008 and earned the distinction of being regarded as the finest goalie in Stanford history.

2008 in Review
Stanford earned perhaps the biggest victory in program history when it beat Penn, 10-8, to complete its second upset of a top-10 team within a week. Earlier, Stanford beat Notre Dame, 13-9. The significance grew as the season wore on because Penn's loss was its only one until it fell to Northwestern in the NCAA championship game. Notre Dame also went on to the NCAA tournament. The Cardinal finished third in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation, but did much better in the conference tournament, knocking off regular-season champion Denver in the championship game, 9-8. Julie Christy scored a hat trick in the Denver game and as a junior midfielder is Stanford's only returning all-MPSF first-team selection. The Cardinal returns six starters and has 21 returning on its 29-player roster.

On the Air
There is no free live streaming video of the game, only a subscription Webcast through goducks.com.

Saturday's Opponent: Oregon
Oregon is a fifth-year program coming off its winningest season, at 13-7. The Ducks finished fourth in the MPSF regulat season, but beat California 9-8 in the third-place game of the MPSF tournament. Jen Larsen, the only head coach in the program's history, lost seven starters from last year's team and has 16 newcomers on the 31-player roster.

The All-Time Series
Stanford holds a 4-1 series lead while the teams have created a tradition of meeting each other in each team's season openers -- four of the five meetings have been openers for both teams. In the two games in Eugene, Stanford won in the first game in Ducks' history, 19-6, on Feb. 12, 2005. Oregon, however, earned its first victory in the series by winning 10-6 in the 2007 opener on Feb. 10. Last year, host Stanford rallied from a 6-4 deficit with Amanda Schwab scoring the winner midway through the second half. Goalie Laura Shane made 14 saves to preserve the victory.

The Schedule
The Cardinal will take on seven of Lacrosse Magazine's Top 20 teams, including five among the top 11. Of its games against ranked opponents, only two are at home. Stanford will play host to No. 2 Syracuse on Feb. 20 and No. 18 Denver on April 10, and host Denver in the MPSF tournament April 23-25. Road games will be played at No. 6 Penn (May 2), No. 8 Maryland (March 29), No. 10 North Carolina (April 19), No. 11 Notre Dame (Feb. 28) and No. 20 Johns Hopkins (March 27).

MPSF Tournament Coming to Stanford
The Mountain Pacific Sports Federation tournament will be played at Stanford for the first time since 2003 when the conference was called the Mountain Pacific Lacrosse League. This year's event will be held from April 23-25 at Laird Q. Cagan Stadium, with the championship final scheduled for a Saturday. If the 2003 tournament is any indication, the home field advantage could be big. That year, the Cardinal beat UC Davis in the semifinals, 19-3 and followed with a 15-14 championship victory over California. Stanford scored four late unanswered goals and got a clutch save from goalie Christina Saikus to preserve the victory. It was the Cardinal's sixth consecutive conference championship.

Final Tuneup
On Saturday, Stanford got a final dress rehearsel for the new season by playing four 25-minute games at Berkeley's Memorial Stadium in the 14-team Cal Playday event. Though official scoring was not kept, Stanford won all four games, beating Saint Mary's, California, UC Santa Barbara and Fresno State. Stanford, surprisingly, had the most difficulty with UCSB, a club program. UCSB bolted to a 3-0 lead before Stanford rallied with five unanswered goals.

The Stanford Tradition
Nineteen of Stanford's 35 sports have combined to win a total of 109 national team championships. Also, the school has won 14 consecutive Director's Cups symbolic of the nation's best overall sports program. In only 12 years of Stanford women's lacrosse, the program already has its own winning tradition, winning 10 conference championships in 11 years. From 2001-03, Stanford went a combined 24-0 in regular-season play and captured its sixth consecutive conference crown. The current streak is four, having begun in 2005.


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