Stanford faces a challenging weekend as it seeks to secure a No. 2 seed and a first-round bye for the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation tournament. The Cardinal must do so against two of the MPSF’s up-and-coming programs, third-year SDSU and second-year USC. Stanford (11-2 overall, 5-1 MPSF) is alive for the No. 1 seed, but would need two Denver losses in two games for that to happen.
Week in Review: Stanford is coming off an 18-6 victory over visiting UC Davis. It was the third consecutive victory by at least eight goals by Stanford. The UC Davis contest was the first of three in a six-day period that continues in San Diego and USC. Against UC Davis, eight Stanford players scored two goals apiece to lead the Cardinal attack. The Cardinal built an 8-1 lead in the first 12 minutes.
Season in Review: Stanford returned 11 starters and 96 percent of its goals from last year’s team that advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament for the first time in school history. Stanford has played three teams that were ranked in the Top 20 at the time of their contests and went 3-0 in those games. On March 29, Stanford beat No. 6 Notre Dame, 11-10. The Cardinal rallied from a 9-6 second-half deficit with a 4-0 run. Lucy Dikeou sliced through the defense for the winner with 4:05 left. Megan Lerner drew a charge with 17 seconds left to preserve the win. The other games were back-to-back comeback road overtime victories at No. 11 Towson, 8-7, and No. 14 Georgetown, 11-10, on March 7 and 9.
Stanford in the Rankings:
IWLCA coaches: No. 13 (No. 12 last week)
Brine media poll: No. 9 (No. 9)
Lacrosse Magazine: No. 12 (No. 13)
Lax Power computer: No. 16 (No. 17)
RPI: No. 13 (No. 13)
Friday’s Opponent, San Diego State: The Aztecs are in sixth place, occupying the final spot in the MPSF tournament. San Diego State (6-7, 3-3) is coming off a pair of narrow road losses last weekend, losing to MPSF leader Denver, 12-11, allowing two goals in the final 21 seconds, including the winner with two seconds left. The Aztecs followed with a 7-6 sudden-victory overtime loss at Colorado. Christina Ricciardulli is the reigning MPSF Defensive Player of the Week. She caused six Denver turnovers, had five draw controls and four groundballs. Against Colorado, she scored with 55 seconds left to force overtime. Michaela Jarvis has a team-leading 34 points, on 18 goals and 16 assists.
The Stanford-SDSU Series: Stanford leads the all-time series, 2-0, with both games being played at Stanford. This will be their first meeting on Montezuma Mesa. Their most recent meeting, a 23-16 victory on April 21, 2013, is notable because it tied Stanford’s single-game record for goals scored. Rachel Ozer scored four goals, and Hannah Farr, Julia Burns, and Lucy Dikeou scored three apiece. The 23 goals tied the Cardinal’s total in a 23-8 victory over Catholic on March 26, 1998. Stanford beat SDSU, 17-11, in their first meeting, in 2012.
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Sunday’s Opponent, USC: The Trojans (7-6, 5-2) come into the weekend, which begins with a Friday game against visiting Oregon, with a chance to vault all the way to the No. 2 seed for the MPSF tournament. If USC beats the MPSF’s second- and third-place teams in its final two regular-season games, the Trojans will clinch third. And, if Colorado loses at least one of its two remaining conference games (against visiting California and at Oregon), then USC can jump to second and earn a bye into MPSF semifinals. Perhaps topportunity is not surprising for the second-year program. USC, after all, was the preseason coaches’ choice to finish third in the MPSF, and even received a first-place vote.
The Stanford-USC Series: The teams have played once, with Stanford earning a 17-11 home victory on March 8, 2013. Anna Kim and Julia Burns scored four goals apiece for the Cardinal.