The No. 18 Stanford lacrosse team fell flat in its quest to defeat a second straight ranked opponent when it fell to No. 11 Georgetown 15-8 on Tuesday evening at Cagan Stadium.
Stanford had broken into the national rankings for the first time this season after a win over previous-No. 13 Ohio State, but was unable to keep the momentum going against an aggressive Hoyas squad.
Early in the game, the Cardinal (2-2) took a 3-1 lead behind goals from juniors Rachel Ozer and Anna Kim and sophomore Kyle Fraser. However, after Stanford sophomore Hannah Farr scored a free-position shot to make it 4-2 halfway through the first half, Georgetown burst out with a 7-1 scoring run. From that point, the Cardinal would never challenge despite four goals on the game from Ozer.
“[Georgetown] is a great team and it just wasn’t our day — maybe coming back from the road trip, I’m not sure what it was,” said Stanford head coach Amy Bokker. “I thought they totally outsmarted us and in areas were outworking us, so that’s what we’ve got to get back to the drawing board on.”
Both teams and the sparse but passionate crowd expressed frustration with the referees in a game that was heated and physical in the first half.
Hoyas sophomore Caroline Tarzian posted a game-high five goals, including three in the first half. Ozer was able to break the Hoyas’ streak with a free-position goal with 3:11 left in the half, but Tarzian bookended halftime with two goals of her own to keep momentum firmly in Georgetown’s control.
Ten minutes into the second half, Ozer assisted a goal by freshman Meg Lentz that cut the deficit to 10-7. But less than 30 seconds later, Georgetown responded with a clever passing sequence that set up a point-blank shot to spark another five-goal run. Stanford had just one goal over the final 20 minutes of play, an essentially meaningless tally by Ozer with 6:52 remaining.
Junior goalkeeper Lyndsey Munoz (seven saves) and the Stanford defense struggled to stand up against a high-pressure Hoyas attack that consistently created scoring opportunities. Stanford’s offense was unable to do the same at the other end of the field and was also plagued by a poor shooting percentage.
“We’re going to work on our shooting and taking care of the ball in general,” Bokker said. “Our ball movement on attack has been a focus for us all year — making sure we have a seven-player attack and it’s not everything going through one person.”
Compounding Stanford’s problems was an inability to maintain control of the ball, something that has been a strength for the team in previous games this season. The Cardinal lost 15 of 25 draw controls and turned the ball over 16 times.
“We weren’t on top of draw controls today, so that was something we’re going to focus on going forward,” Bokker said. “We were playing defense probably 75 percent of that second half.”
Stanford will take a day to rest on Wednesday before turning its focus to two big matchups this weekend.
On Friday afternoon, the Cardinal will play USC for its MPSF opener. The Women of Troy are 3-3 in their inaugural season of varsity play, with wins against Presbyterian, Saint Mary’s College and LIU Brooklyn. In its last time out, USC lost to Princeton 18-13 on March 3.
As a first-year program, USC’s roster is made up almost entirely of underclassmen. The team’s leading scorer is freshman Caroline de Lyra, who has tallied 21 goals and 15 assists this year, including 8 goals against the Tigers. Four other players have point totals in double figures for the season.
Freshman Liz Shaeffer has started every game in goal for the Women of Troy this year. Shaeffer is averaging 8.67 saves per game, good for second in the MPSF.
After facing off against its SoCal rival, the Cardinal will take on Temple on Sunday at 1 p.m. The Owls are undefeated in four games this season, but they have also yet to play away from home.
Offensively, Temple boasts a balanced attack — 15 players have posted goals this season while no single player has more than nine goals.
The Owls have also shared the load in net, where redshirt freshman Jaqi Kakalecik and senior Meghan Clothier have split the majority of the time. As a team, Temple has held opponents to 7.75 goals per game.
Both games will take place at Laird Q. Cagan Stadium.
“We want to focus on winning a conference championship, and [this weekend] is the first step to doing that,” Bokker told GoStanford.com. “We’ll come out fired up and ready to play USC on Friday.”
Contact Jana Persky at jpersky “at” stanford.edu.