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STANFORD, Calif. – Stanford women’s lacrosse head coach Amy Bokker began the 2013 season with one specific message she hoped her young team – consisting of 19 underclassmen – would embrace: “Get better every day.”
After a season filled with plenty of highlights, record-breaking performances and the team’s first NCAA Tournament victory in program history, it’s fair to say the team accomplished its goal and positioned itself for future success.
Perhaps the most glaring representation of the team’s growth occurred in its first round NCAA Tournament win over Notre Dame. The Cardinal defeated the Fighting Irish, 8-7, after sophomore Hannah Farr scored the game-winning goal with four seconds remaining in regulation.
The postseason victory avenged a season-opening 12-10 defeat in which Stanford carried a 7-2 lead into halftime, only to be outscored by Notre Dame 10-3 in the second half. It was a disappointing result at the time but Bokker was encouraged by her team’s performance and believed her team would improve as the season progressed.
“It showed how far we had come and how much better we got, not only physically stronger but tactically and strategically better,” Bokker said. “I think that showed coming down the line in a lot of close games that we ended up on the winning end of.”
Stanford’s resolve was challenged throughout the season – most notably after conference losses at Mountain Pacific Sports Federation regular season champion Denver and at UC Davis – which finished fifth in the conference.
“The losses to Denver and Davis really put into perspective what we wanted to do and that it was ours for the taking,” Bokker said. “They learned from those losses in conference that you can’t take moments off. You have to compete for the entire game.”
After falling to UC Davis, Stanford went on a four-game winning streak with three of the games being decided by one goal. The Cardinal opened its streak with a 14-13 victory over Cal in its regular-season finale. Rachel Ozer tabbed the game-winning goal with eight seconds remaining in the match and goalkeeper Lyndsey Munoz saved a free-position shot with no time remaining on the clock to secure the victory.
The Cardinal continued to roll at the MPSF Tournament with a dominating 16-6 performance against Cal in the semifinals. Stanford then claimed its eighth MPSF Tournament title in nine years after defeating Denver, 8-7, in the championship match and earned the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
The Cardinal capped its four-game winning streak with its NCAA Tournament victory over Notre Dame and concluded its season after falling to second-seeded Northwestern, 15-8, in the NCAA Tournament Second Round.
“The younger players showed they had the drive to never settle and keep competing and not give up during the game, and competed for the full 60 minutes,” Bokker said. “Our older players really showed good leadership and poise in times when the game was on the line.”
While Bokker was excited about her team’s success, she notes the team’s sights are set even higher for next year and believes her team is equipped with the experience and talent necessary to compete deeper into the postseason.
“There’s a lot of self-motivation, they drive themselves,” Bokker said. “They had a taste of what that is like this year, so I think that is motivating in and of itself and leaves them hungry for more.”
Stanford will return all but two players – graduated seniors Carolyn Bradley and Elizabeth Adam – and welcome a talented recruiting class consisting of 10 freshmen and one rising sophomore transfer that will provide additional depth to the experienced roster.
“Having the core of our scoring threats, defenders and goalie be in the senior class, the expectation of leadership will be pretty high, and again for them to help the large freshman class coming in understand what our goals are and how to get on board with that early,” Bokker said.
As many of the players head home for summer break, Bokker believes her team will continue to embrace the “get better every day” mentality and will return to campus ready to challenge for another MPSF championship and a deeper run in the NCAA Tournament.
Team and Individual Accomplishments
· Defeated Notre Dame 8-7 for first NCAA Tournament victory in program history
· Claimed eighth MPSF Tournament championship in past nine seasons
· Made fourth NCAA Tournament appearance in program history
· Rachel Ozer and Anna Kim named to IWLCA All-Region team
· Ninth consecutive year at least one Stanford player named to IWLCA All-Region team
· Hannah Farr named seventh Stanford MPSF Tournament Most Valuable Player
· Stanford player named MPSF Tournament MVP for the seventh time in past eight years
· A total of five Cardinal named to MPSF All-Tournament team
· Six All-MPSF selections (four first-team, two second team)
· Megan Lerner tied the single-game record for draw controls with eight against Harvard (Feb. 24), then broke the record with nine against San Diego State (April 21)
· Lerner set the single-season record for draw controls with 63
· Anna Kim broke the previous draw control record of 52 and finished the season with 56 (second on the team)
· 11 MPSF All-Academic honors
Stanford career rankings
· Carolyn Bradley became Stanford’s all-time leader in games played with 77
· Ozer moved into ninth place for career free-position shots with 49 and 13th for career assists with 35
· Kim moved into seventh for most career free-position shots with 56 and draw controls with 101
· Lerner ranks 11th all-time in draw controls with 74
· Farr ranks 12th all-time with 65 draw controls
All-time single-season rankings: The following is a list of Stanford athletes that finished in the top 15 in Stanford single-season individual statistics categories.
· Points, 72, second
· Goals, 48, fourth
· Assists, 24, fourth
· Shots, 101, t-first
· FPS, 31, second
· FPS, 23, eighth
· Draw Controls, 56, second
· FPS, 19, 15th
· Draw Controls, 63, first
· Caused Turnovers, 25, eighth
Final NCAA Rankings
Team Rankings: Below is a list of Stanford’s final poll rankings followed by its rankings in the NCAA top 50 in statistical categories.
Draw controls: 14.50 per game (290 total), fifth
Points: 375, 10th
Scoring offense: 13.60 per game (272 goals scored), 11th
Caused turnovers: 9.20 per game (184 total), 14th
Win percentage: .700, t-14th
Scoring margin: 3.05, 20th
Scoring defense: 10.55 per game (211 goals allowed), 48th
Individual NCAA Rankings: Below is a list of Stanford players that ranked in the NCAA top 50 in individual statistics categories.
Points: 72, t-27th
Goals: 48, t-39th
Assists: 24, t-48th
Points per game: 3.60, 49th
MPSF Player of the Week Honors
Rachel Ozer, Offensive Player of the Week, Feb. 26-March 4
Lyndsey Munoz, Defensive Player of the Week, March 25-31
Julia Burns, Rookie of the Week, April 8-14
Lyndsey Munoz, Defensive Player of the Week, April 8-14
Rachel Ozer, Offensive Player of the Week, April 15-21
Lucy Dikeou, Rookie of the Week, April 15-21