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Stanford to Make NCAA Push
Courtesy: Stanford Athletics  
Release: 04/28/2009

Complete Release in PDF Format April 28, 2009

STANFORD, Calif. - One goal fulfilled, the No. 13 Stanford women's lacrosse team will attempt to achieve another when it completes its regular season with a pair of nonconference games this week, against visiting Louisville (9-6) on Thursday at 3 p.m. and at No. 3 Penn on Saturday at 10 a.m. PT. Stanford captured its fifth consecutive Mountain Pacific Sports Federation championship on Sunday, beating visiting California 18-13 in the tournament final. However, the MPSF doesn't yet have an automatic berth in the 17-team NCAA tournament and Stanford will use this week's games as a final opportunity to state its case to the selection committee for an at-large berth.

On the Net
Live video streaming for Thursday's game will be available on gostanford.com. To find the webcast link, go to the main page and click on the All-Access button or scroll down to the Calendar of Events, and click on the "Watch" link.

NCAA Selection Show
Selections for the NCAA Division I women's tournament, as well as the Div. I-III men's and women's events, will be announced Sunday on CBS College Sports Network during the NCAA Lacrosse Selection Special, from 7-8 p.m. PT. The network can be found on DirecTV (channel 613), DISH Network (channel 152) and through most Comcast providers.

Who Gets In?
There are 88 schools that play Division I women's lacrosse, representing 11 conferences. Only these conferences receive automatic bids: the America East, Atlantic Coast, Atlantic-10, Big East, Colonial Athletic Association, Ivy Group and the Patriot League. In addition, the Metro Atlantic Athletic Association champion will play host to the Northeast Conference champion in a play-in game. That accounts for nine schools in the 17-team field, with eight at-large spots remaining to be filled. The at-large spots will be determined by:

• Ratings Performance Index
• Head to head
• Winning percentage against common opponents
• Evaluation of 10 highest-rated opponents on each team's schedule, by strength of schedule and winning percentage.

Where Stanford Stands
Here are the schools that have earned automatic bids: Maryland (ACC), Massachusetts (Atlantic 10), Notre Dame (Big East), Penn (Ivy), Colgate (Patriot), Fairfield (MAAC) and Sacred Heart (Northeast). The CAA and America East will stage their tournaments this weekend. Assuming top seeds William and Mary, and Boston U. win, here are a list of top at-large teams (eight will get NCAA berths), in order of their RPI:

1, Northwestern; 3, North Carolina; 5, Duke; 7, Syracuse; 8, Georgetown; 9, Virginia; 10, Princeton; 11, Dartmouth; 12, Vanderbilt; 14, Penn State; 16, Cornell; 17, Ohio State; 18, Stanford; 20, Old Dominion.

Stanford is 0-2 against other potential at-large teams, having lost to North Carolina and Syracuse. However, Stanford will raise its RPI simply by playing Penn (ranked No. 3 in the nation), and could vault over teams with victories this week. Stanford has reached the NCAA tournament once before, losing in the first round to eventual national champion Northwestern, 17-9, in 2006.

MPSF Champions
Stanford continued its dominance in conference play by capturing its fifth consecutive Mountain Pacific Sports Federation championship with an 18-13 victory over Cal in the tournament final Sunday at Laird Q. Cagan Stadium. Stanford got a collegiate career high five goals from
Leslie Foard, and three goals and two assists each from Karen Nesbitt and Lauren Schmidt.

Individual Honors
Karen Nesbitt, who also had three draw controls in the final and six goals in the tournament, was named as the MPSF Tournament Most Valuable Player. Also named to the all-tournament team were Foard, junior Eleanor Foote, and senior Jamie Nesbitt.

In addition, Lauren Schmidt was named MPSF Player of the Year, Amy Bokker was Coach of the Year, and senior defender Maris Perlman, junior midfielder Julie Christy, and junior attacker Dana Lindsay received All-MPSF first-team honors.

Postseason Success
Stanford has had great success since becoming a varsity sport and entering NCAA Division I play in 1995. The Cardinal has maintained its success through terms in three conferences: the Western Women's Lacrosse League (1995-2001), Mountain Pacific Lacrosse League (2002-2003) and Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (2004-present). Here are some facts that illustrate the Cardinal's success in conference postseason play:

• 12 conference titles in 15 years
• All-time postseason record (including 2006 NCAA game): 31-4
• Record in conference tournaments: 31-3
• Conference tournament record since 1998: 28-1
• Record in conference championship games: 12-1
• Record in MPSF tournament play: 13-1
• Record in MPSF championship games: 5-1

Thursday's Opponent: Louisville
The Cardinals (9-6) finished in a three-way tie for fourth in the Big East Conference, and advanced to the conference tournament semifinals where they lost to Georgetown, 21-12, on Friday. This will be the first meeting between Stanford and Louisville. Two Cardinal players made the All-Big East second team: Emily Dashiell, a sophomore midfield player, and Bergan Foley, a sophomore attack. This will be the first of a two-game Northern California trip for the Cardinals, who conclude their season Saturday at UC Davis.

Saturday's Opponent: Penn
The Quakers are ranked No. 3 in the nation and were undefeated until a narrow 11-9 defeat at No. 1 Northwestern on Saturday in a rematch of last year's NCAA championship game. Over the last three years, Penn is 47-5, but that includes a 1-4 mark against Northwestern, the four-time defending champ. Take away those games and Penn is 46-1. The only non-Northwestern loss in that span was to Stanford, 10-8, on March 9, 2008. Then-senior Daphne Patterson had three goals for Stanford in the game and current junior Charity Fluharty scored twice. Stanford has won two of their three meetings in the series. Penn has won the past three Ivy titles and has reached the NCAA final the past two years.

Stanford to Play at Historic Franklin Field
This will be Stanford's third appearance at Penn's historic Franklin Field, the 52,593-seat stadium built in 1895 (Stanford split games there in 1998 and 1999). Best known as the site of the Penn Relays track and field meet for more than 100 years, the stadium also is notable for other reasons. It was the home of the Philadelphia Eagles from 1958-1970, the site of the 1960 NFL Championship game (a 17-13 Eagles victory over Green Bay and Vince Lombardi) and the place where Philadelphia fans cemented their merciless reputation by infamously booing and throwing snowballs at Santa Claus, at an Eagles game in 1968.


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