Feb. 20, 2009
STANFORD, Calif. -
Stanford showed it had the talent and the game to play with the nation's elite, but was unable to get the result to prove it.
No. 3 Syracuse pulled away in the second half to beat the No. 17 Cardinal, 15-10, in a nonconference women's lacrosse matchup between ranked teams Friday afternoon at Laird Q. Cagan Stadium.
Stanford (3-1) fell behind by five goals, but made up the deficit within a 10-minute span late of the first half on the sticks of five different scorers, tying the game at 8-8 on Leslie Foard's score with 1:50 left.
But Christina Dove scored three goals and Katie Rowan two as the Orange (2-0) responded with six unanswered goals. Syracuse came close to shutting out Stanford in the second half, until Ashley Aruffo and Maggie Sachs cut the deficit in the final 1:21.
Dove scored four goals and Rowan three for Syracuse. Stanford was led by Foard and Lauren Schmidt with two apiece.
"We really fought to play with a team of that caliber," Stanford coach Amy Bokker said. "To be in the game is a real positive in knowing where we are as a team."
The first half was an up-and-down affair, in which both teams took advantage of penalties to score on extra-man opportunities. Stanford also scored three first-half goals on free-position shots - by Lauren Schmidt, Maris Perlman and Karen Nesbitt.
But the second half was played at a deliberate pace. Syracuse controlled the tempo not only with its effective slow-down play, but continued to regain possession by earning the majority of draw controls after its goals.
"We knew they had a high-powered offense, and we needed to come up big on offense," Bokker said. "The biggest thing was the draw controls. They were able to keep possession."
Though Syracuse posed a big and athletic lineup, Bokker felt Stanford matched the Orange in team speed.
"We had opportunities," Bokker said. "I think we were a little rushed in our offensive end. We could have been more patient in working through the defense."
It was the second meeting between the teams, with Syracuse winning both, and the first of seven games against teams ranked in the Top 20 coaches' poll. This was one of six against teams ranked in the top 11. The other five are on the road.