May 8, 2010
Stanford, Calif. - No. 15 Stanford will be dancing this year after winning Saturday's NCAA play-in game over Massachusetts, 15-12, to earn an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. A year after being left out of the NCAA tournament despite thinking it would get in, Stanford will watch this Sunday's selection show only to find out its seed and opponent and not its fate.
The Cardinal earned a hard-fought victory over UMass in front of a nice crowd at Laird Q. Cagan Stadium. It was the first NCAA playoff game ever played in the state of California for women's lacrosse. It was only appropriate that the Cardinal, who has been at the forefront of West Coast lacrosse, would earn the victory. Stanford trailed early, but persevered to take a lead into the half and then hold on for the win.
"UMass is an awesome team," said head coach Amy Bokker. "They are extremely physical and disciplined. I thought we really hustled today and am very proud of that."
Sarah Flynn led Stanford, scoring five goals. The junior matched her season high and retook the team lead with 43 goals. Flynn scored the five goals on just seven shots, while Stanford took another 28 shots for the other 10 goals.
"I thought Sarah (Flynn) did an exceptional job with her shooting accuracy," said Bokker.
UMass scored first and built a 4-2 lead. Merritt Cosgrove had a first-half hat trick for the Minutewomen, but received a second yellow card early in the second half and was forced to watch the rest of the action from the sidelines.
Stanford roared back late in the second half to take an 11-8 lead to the break. Claire Hubbard had two goals and an assist in the half. The assist extended Hubbard's single-season assist record to an even 40.
Both teams traded goals in the second half with MPSF Player of the Year Lauren Schmidt notching two of her three goals in the period. Schmidt added an assist to total four points and a team-leading 57 (36 goals and 21 assists) for the season.
Annie Read was once again solid in goal, notching six saves and earning her 15th victory of the season. The 15 wins is not only a Stanford record for a goalkeeper, but the highest win total as team in program history.
The Cardinal will now tune in for the NCAA selection show on Sunday, May 9, at 7:00 pm, PST. Stanford will find out its seed and first round opponent as it heads to the NCAA's for the second time in school history.