The Stanford women’s lacrosse team received an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament Sunday night. It was welcome news after losing the chance at automatic berth earlier in the day.
Stanford fell into hole early and could not recover in a 14-11 loss to Denver in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation tournament championship game Sunday. However, Stanford (14-4) secured an NCAA spot for the second consecutive year.
Stanford plays Duke (9-7) in the first round on Friday at Notre Dame. Stanford would play the winner of High Point (14-5) and Notre Dame (9-8), the No. 8 seed, in the second round of the 26-team tournament.
Last year, Stanford beat Notre Dame in the first round for the first NCAA victory in school history.
In the MPSF final, No. 20 Stanford (14-4) fell behind by deficits of 5-0 and 9-2 and never was able to draw closer than the final margin. Hannah Farr and Rachel Ozer scored three goals apiece to lead the Cardinal.
Denver (18-1) plays Jacksonville (14-5) in Gainesville, Fla.
Stanford had played Denver six times in the MPSF tournament, including five times in MPSF tournament, and won every one. But Denver (18-1) ended that streak thanks largely to its fine start. This was in contrast to their previous meeting, on April 4 at Stanford, when Stanford bolted a 6-0 lead in what would be a 13-12 Denver victory.
Ozer broke through for Stanford in the ninth minute. From that point on, Stanford outscored Denver, 11-9. Alexandra Crerend helped give the Cardinal a boost on faceoffs, which helped fuel a 3-0 run that brought Stanford within 9-5, on a goal by Lucy Dikeou with 1:21 left in the first half.
Denver, however, responded with a 3-0 run of its own bridging halftime to retake control of the game.