April 27, 2003
Stanford, Calif. -
Stanford earned the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championship today after defeating UCLA 3-2 in the fifth sudden victory period. Stanford, now 20-2 on the season, played its first overtime match of the season as the Bruins played their second straight and dropped to 21-4 on the year. With the league title, the Cardinal earn the automatic berth to the NCAA Championship in San Diego on May 10-11.
Stanford came out with the early lead on a goal by freshman Laurel Champion only 1:56 into the match. UCLA put their first point on the board with 3:05 left in the third quarter on a shot by Kelly Rulon. The Cardinal's Lauren Faust scored with 3:39 left in regulation to give Stanford a 2-1 lead on a 6-on-5 goal, but the Bruins' Lauren Heineck evened the score 35 seconds later at 2-2.
Neither team scored for the next 22:04 as the match progressed through overtime into the fifth sudden victory period. UCLA controlled the sprint in the last period, but senior Julie Gardner stole the ball at two-meters to set up the final possession for the Cardinal. With 2:03 remaining in the fifth sudden victory session, Stanford sophomore Kelty Luber was able to find the back of the net and end the match after 1 hour and 50 minutes.
Both keepers put on a show for the crowd at the Avery Aquatic Center as Stanford's Jackie Frank picked up 22 saves, including a blocked four-meter penalty shot in the third period and five during the sudden victory periods. On the other end of the pool, UCLA's Jaime Hipp picked up 14 saves on the day.
Earlier today, USC doubled up Long Beach State 10-5 for third place after taking the 3-0 lead with 4:48 left in the first period as the Women of Troy converted three straight 6-on-5 opportunities. San Diego State topped California 5-2 for fifth place with a three-goal outing in the third period and ten saves from goalkeeper Ashley Zabel. Hawai'i captured seventh place with a 7-4 win over UC Santa Barbara as the Rainbows outscored the Gauchos 5-3 in the second half. In the first match of the day, UC Irvine claimed ninth place with a 7-3 victory over San Jose State as six different Anteater players scored.
2003 MPSF Champion Stanford will advance to the NCAA Championship on May 11-12 in San Diego, Calif.