May 3, 2001
Stanford, CA - This year's Cardinal squad is finishing up the year in a great spot. They are favored to win this weekend's WWLL Championships, for the fourth time in four years, in addition to being honored as the first West Coast Division I team to break into the IWLCA Top 20 poll. Under the direction of first-year head coach Michele Uhlfelder, a National Team member since 1991, the Card has grown to new heights, using their talent and team chemistry to turn heads at the national level. With a No. 1 seed and a 7-0 conference record entering the tournament this weekend, Stanford is ready to play lacrosse at the top level and is looking ahead to see where it takes the team over the next few years.
Saturday's Final Four games, at California's Memorial Stadium, will match up the top two teams from each division of the WWLL, with Stanford and California as the first and second seeds from the North and Cal-Poly San Luis Obispo and UCLA as first and second from the South. The Cardinal will face UCLA at 4 pm, followed by California and Cal Poly. The two winners will play Sunday at 1 pm with one team taking home the championship trophy.
Stanford's WWLL tournament history shows a dedication to clinging to the much-deserved "Best in the West" title. The Cardinal have been to the Final Four each of the last four years and have taken home the championship the last three years. In 1997, Stanford finished the season with a 9-7 overall record and loss to California in the WWLL Final Four. The next year they crushed UC Santa Barbara 19-12 in the Final Four and defeated UC Davis 10-8 for their first of three championship victories over the Aggies. In 1999, they annihilated UCLA, beating them 23-4 in the Final Four and delivered UC Davis an 11-7 championship loss. Last season, they came out on top again with a 13-9 win over the Bruins in the Final Four and a 12-9 victory over the Aggies. Stanford has only faced UCLA twice in the last five years, both times in the WWLL Final Four and has come away with a win each time. The Card have beaten California four out of their last five contests, including two wins over the Bears this season.
First Round Report
In the first round of the playoffs last weekend, Stanford beat the St. Mary's Gaels for the third time this season, handing them a 12-9 defeat at St. Mary's Stadium. Senior tri-captain Katharine Barnes (Northhampton, MA (Deerfield Academy) led the team with 4 goals and freshman Abbi Hills (Lakewood, CO/Colorado Academy) and sophomore Liz Lanese (St. Louis, MO/Mary Institute & St. Louis CDS) each added 3 goals apiece. Sophomore goalkeeper Rachael Neumann (Woodbury, NY/Syosset HS) finished with 9 saves and freshman Larissa Conte (Bethesda, MD/Sidwell Friends School) powered the Cardinal defense, recording 3 caused turnovers.
Leading the Way
Making their mark for the team this season, several players have helped the Cardinal to receive its first ever national ranking. At the top, Barnes has 42 goals, 15 assists and 34 draw controls and Lanese has recorded 33 goals and 10 assists. Junior tri-captain Caroline Osterwise (Villanova, PA/Harriton HS) also leads the team with 37 groundballs and 35 caused turnovers.