It may not have been a restful spring break for the No. 13 Stanford lacrosse team, but it has been a successful one so far.
After “getting the rust off,” as head coach Amy Bokker put it, with a dominating 16-4 victory over Saint Mary’s on March 22, the Cardinal (7-1, 2-0 MPSF) traveled east to take down non-conference opponent Cornell by a 17-9 score. Stanford will cap off its trip with a visit to No. 6 Notre Dame tomorrow.
The Cardinal returned from a 12-day finals hiatus to take on Saint Mary’s last Saturday at Cagan Stadium.
“Coming out of exams I never know where their minds are,” Bokker told GoStanford.com. “They’ve had a really stressful week, so it was good for everybody to get in and get back into competitive mode.”
Although the Gaels held the Cardinal to a 1-1 tie through the first 14 minutes, Stanford tallied seven of the last eight goals in the period to take an 8-2 lead into halftime.
The Card cranked out five more goals in the first ten minutes of the second half, triggering a running clock when the lead stretched to 10, and closed out a 16-4 victory.
Junior Hannah Farr — who was recently named to the Tewaarton Award Watch List — led the Cardinal with three goals. Overall, 11 different players recorded goals for Stanford, while senior Lyndsey Munoz and sophomore Katie Wiseman combined for four saves in net.
Stanford put together an equally efficient performance after a cross-country flight to face Cornell in Ithaca, N.Y. Sophomore Meg Lentz and freshman Alex Poplawski each scored four goals as the Card rolled to a 17-9 victory.
After Cornell took a 1-0 lead in the first minute of the game, Stanford scored nine unanswered goals, including two each from senior Anna Kim, Lentz, junior Emily Newstrom and Poplawski, as well as a single tally from senior Rachel Ozer.
A key aspect of the run was Stanford’s defense, which forced Cornell into 15 turnovers in the first half alone.
“We really wanted to make it difficult for Cornell to clear,” Bokker told GoStanford.com. “We wanted to play aggressive and come out with good energy. And we played a lot of great team defense.”
The Big Red stopped the bleeding with two goals before halftime, but Farr and Lentz tallied in the final three minutes of the half to give the Card an 11-3 lead at the break.
The teams traded goals in the second half, with Stanford stretching the lead to 17-5 before Cornell scored the last four goals of the game to bring the final score to 17-9.
Freshmen Kelsey Murray and Poplawski have continued to stand out for the Card in their freshmen campaigns. To go along with Poplawski’s four goals, Murray tallied four assists against Cornell. Bokker described Poplawski, who has scored in every game of her Stanford career, as “smart, savvy and a great target because of her size.”
Stanford will now turn its attention to No. 6 Notre Dame, which is the highest-ranked opponent the Card will face this year. Last year, the Fighting Irish defeated the Cardinal 12-10 in the first game of the season, but the Card returned the favor in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Farr’s free-position goal with four seconds remaining gave the Card an 8-7 lead to stun Notre Dame and capture Stanford’s first NCAA tournament victory in program history.
The Fighting Irish have built an 8-3 record this year, with all three losses coming against teams currently ranked in the top five nationally. Offensively, Notre Dame is sparked by freshman Cortney Fortunato, who has recorded 28 goals this year. Senior Margaret Smith currently tops the ACC in both ground balls and caused turnovers to lead a dominating Fighting Irish defense.
The game will begin at 9 a.m. PDT at Notre Dame’s Arlotta Stadium.
Contact Jana Persky at jpersky ‘at’ stanford.edu.