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No. 17 Cardinal Set for Annual Battle with Cal
Courtesy: Stanford Athletics  
Release: 02/13/2006

Feb. 13, 2006

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The Stanford University women's lacrosse team continues MPSF conference play this Saturday, taking on the California Bears in an event scheduled for 12:00 PM (PST) in Berkeley. The match marks the second of the season for the Cardinal and the season-opener for the Bears. The annual showdown between the Bay Area rivals will take place at Memorial Stadium on the University of California-Berkeley campus.

After the action this weekend, the Cardinal returns home for a seven-game home series which features three preseason top-20 opponents. To begin the stretch, Stanford faces Ohio State on Friday, Feb. 24 in a 7:00 PM (PST) match-up at Maloney Field. Later that weekend, Stanford will host Notre Dame in a Sunday, Feb. 26 meeting at 12:00 PM (PST). In 2005, the Cardinal defeated Ohio State in its final regular season match by a score of 13-7. Stanford also defeated Notre Dame on the road last year in a tight 6-5 decision.

The Cardinal began the 2006 season last weekend at home against the University of Oregon. In an impressive showing, 11 Stanford players tallied goals to defeat the Ducks 18-9. Junior Liz Piselli led the offense for the Cardinal, notching four goals on the afternoon. Sophomore Anna Brown netted her second career goal for Stanford, scoring off of a pass from Megan Burker in the second half. Sophomore defender Bri Ned tossed in the first two goals of her career in the win, one in each half. Junior Bryanne Gilkinson returned to the Stanford starting lineup after redshirting the 2005 season and contributed her first career goal with just over a minute left to play in the match. The team is now 1-0 overall and 1-0 in the MPSF.

Senior midfielder Megan Burker scored her 100th career goal in the season-opener against the Ducks last weekend. Burker joins an elite group of only six Stanford players who have accomplished the feat. In addition to Burker, Hedy Born `00, Katharine Barnes `01, Abbi Hills `04, Kelsey Twist `05 and Nina Pantano `05 have reached the 100 goal mark. Burker, a Baltimore, Md. native, has started every game of her career for the Cardinal and has accumulated 150 total points.

Junior Liz Piselli showed the Oregon Ducks her dangerous goal-scoring ability last weekend, initiating a string of Cardinal goals less than two minutes into the game. Piselli's ability to step up exemplifies the depth of contributors on the Cardinal roster this season. Last year, Piselli started 17 games for Stanford and recorded 20 goals on 48 shots. The Rockville Centre, NY native notched four goals and two assists for the Cardinal in the opening event of 2006, giving her a hand in a third of the Stanford points. After such a prolific start, Piselli aims to lead her team past Cal this weekend. The midfielder has a history of scoring against the Golden Bears, as she notched a key goal in the 2004 MPSF Tournament final for the Cardinal.

Four Stanford freshmen made their first collegiate appearances on Saturday in the win over the Ducks. Bis Fries scored her first career goal in the 15th minute of the match and followed with a second goal ten minutes later. The freshman from Princeton, NJ recorded five shots in her first outing for the Cardinal. Freshman Jamie Nesbitt also netted a goal in her collegiate debut. The Cincinnati, OH native put a pass from Liz Piselli in the back of the net in the 19th minute of the match. All-American Maris Perlman also entered the game for the Cardinal and recorded a draw control in her first collegiate outing. Polly Brown, a newcomer from Washington D.C., also saw action in the match.

Head coach Michele Uhlfelder (61-30, .670) continues to lead Stanford on a streak of overwhelming conference domination. In five years, Uhlfelder has never lost a regular season conference match and has garnered four conference championships. Since joining the MPSF in 2003, the team has captured every regular season title and two tournament championships. Notably, Stanford has faced California in every MPSF Tournament championship game, claiming victory in two out of three. The MPSF is a young and growing west coast conference. With the addition of Oregon last season, the conference now includes six schools: Stanford, California, UC Davis, Saint Mary's, Oregon and Denver.

The Stanford women's lacrosse team has faced the California Bears more times than any other program in the nation, with Saturday marking the 21st meeting between the two schools. The Cardinal has dominated the series so far, winning 15 of the 20 previous matchups and nine of the last ten. The Cardinal has solidly outscored the Bears in the series so far as well, 205-163. Yet, the rivalry is still extremely heated, with each of the last six meetings being decided by three goals or less. Last season, the Cardinal bested the Bears twice. In a regular season meeting, Stanford claimed victory on a close 11-10 margin on Michelle DeChant's game-winning goal with seven minutes left to play. The two teams faced off again in the MPSF Tournament championship game on May 7, where the Cardinal again came out on top, 12-9.

Entering their final collegiate seasons, the names of Cardinal seniors Sarah Bach and Megan Burker are already prominent in Stanford career record books. After adding to their totals this weekend, the players are sixth (100) and eighth (72) in career goals, respectively. Burker stands second in career assists (50) while Bach is seventh (27). The duo ranks fifth and ninth in shots with 242 and 154, respectively. Additionally, Burker is fifth in ground balls (127) and Bach has recently moved into at tie for ninth (94) in the same category. In the draw control column, Burker is currently third with 73. Both seniors are tied for ninth in games played with 55. Sophomore Laura Shane also is in the process of climbing career charts. In her first season with the Cardinal, the Baltimore, Md. native collected 204 saves, fourth best in a Cardinal keeper's career. Her 15 saves on Saturday, bring her one step closer in her pursuit of Stephanie Tuerk's 1999 top mark (459).

Head coach Jill Malko, a former Boston University standout, enters her eighth season at the helm of the California program. Last season, the Bears posted a 12-7 overall record and a 4-1 mark in conference play. The team had an impressive home record, falling in only two of its eight home matches. The Bears return 13 total letterwinners to the squad and four of their top five scorers from last season. Six of the team's returning players scored in double figures last season. The Bears are led by junior Laura Cavallo of Bay Shore, NY who netted 44 goals in 2005. The midfielder also added 18 assists, giving her a hand in 29 percent of the squad's goals. Additionally, the Bears return junior attacker Liz Reifsnyder, who notched 31 goals and 18 assists last season. Standout goalkeeper Hilary Lynch also returns to the Bear squad. The Hingham, Mass. native compiled 185 saves in 19 games last season. The Cal roster also includes two native Californians. Sophomore Cristen Andrews of Pleasanton had six goals and an assist in her inaugural season last year with the Bears. Kiki Kalkstein, a standout at La Jolla High School, joins the Cal squad for her freshman season in 2006.



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