April 30, 2005
Meridith McColl led Stanford's phenomenal defensive effort with 19 saves for the game, a career-high for her. Stanford came out strong in the first quarter 4-0, and led at the half 5-2. Hannah Luber, Katie Hansen, and Christina Hewko each contributed two goals, while Alison Gregorka, Scotti Shafer, and Kelty Luber each had one. Stanford now advances to the final MPSF Championship game, Sunday at 3:15 PM, televised LIVE on ESPNU.
Stanford's Kelty Luber got the Cardinal going in the first quarter with a quick goal from the perimeter at 5:15 into the game. Then, when USC's Anna Pardo was ejected, Scotti Shafer was already swimming fast down the pool, so she took the ball down for a lob shot across the cage, scoring the Cardinal's second goal at 2:24 in the quarter. Stanford turned on the heat after that, scoring two more goals in the quarter. Sophomore stand-out Katie Hansen made an outside shot off an assist from Alison Gregorka for Stanford's third goal, and Senior Hannah Luber made a sweet back-hand from set off a perfect wet pass from Laurel Champion that skidded under the arms of USC goalie for the fourth goal of the quarter.
five crucial saves in the first quarter allowed Stanford to hold a 4-0 lead at the end of the quarter, and helped to propel Stanford into a physical second quarter. USC retaliated with a backhand from set from Moriah Van Norman that resulted in USC's first goal of the game at 1:57 left in the second quarter. At just over a minute left in the first half, Ezter Gyori of USC fired a shot that slipped past McColl for USC's second goal of the game. Christina Hewko
finally got the Cardinal their only goal of the second quarter, firing a nearside goal into the net with two defenders on her to bring Stanford up 5-2.
McColl started out the third quarter with a spectacular save from USC's Moriah Van Norman, who shot it high from 2-meters, garnering her 11th save of the game. USC scored a goal just 20 seconds later, but Katie Hansen soon helped the Cardinal regain some of their offensive momentum of the first quarter, getting a goal during a 6-on-5 opportunity to bring the score to 6-3. But Moriah Van Norman soon scored her third goal of the game, bringing USC to within 2 of the Cardinal. USC's Brittany Hayes soon attempted a shot on goal during a man-up situation, but McColl again responded with a fabulous save, her 12th of the game. With only a minute and a half left in the third quarter, Alison Gregorka got open water in front of the cage and received a sweet assist from Hansen to score Stanford's 7th goal of the game.
The fourth quarter saw two tired squads lead relentless efforts both offensively and defensively, with McColl putting forth her best effort yet and tallying 6 saves. Stanford's Hewko had an awesome outside skip shot that slipped in through the side of the goal, after the first two minutes of the quarter were scoreless for both teams. Hannah Luber found an opportunity and created a sweet turnover by literally grabbing the ball out of the hands of USC's Lauren Wenger for another offensive opportunity for Stanford. Luber took this momentum to score her second goal of the game by flipping in an assist from Hansen with just :53 left to play as the USC goalie was caught out of the cage.
McColl ended the game with an astounding 19 saves for the Cardinal, a huge asset for the team as they beat the Trojans 9-5.
Stanford now advances to the final MPSF Championship game, to be held in Berkeley Sunday at 3:15 PM, against the UCLA Bruins, who defeated Hawaii 9-4 today. The game will be televised LIVE on ESPNU.
Hewko (2), Luber H. (2), Hansen (2), Shafer, Gregorka, Luber K.
***McColl: 19 SAVES***
Van Norman (3), Wenger, Gyori.
Mix: 4 saves