The No. 16 Stanford women’s lacrosse team ended its season with a tough loss in the first round of the NCAA tournament to the No. 10 Florida Gators (15-5) in Chapel Hill by a score of 15-10, ending another tremendous season.
The Cardinal never led and had a difficult time recovering from their 9-4 deficit at the end of the first half. The team finished 15-3, tying a school record for fewest losses in a season. It truly was a record-breaking season for a program that is consistently getting stronger every year.
Florida started very strong, scoring three consecutive goals to open the game. Shannon Gilroy led this attack, scoring two of the team’s first three goals and four of its first-half total of nine. Gilroy came into the game with 89 points and 67 goals on the season, ranking her second and third in the country in those categories. Her total of 5 goals in the game brought her career total to 254, a figure equalled by only 11 other women in collegiate lacrosse history.
The Cardinal countered Gilroy with an outstanding performance from their own top scorer, junior midfielder Lucy Dikeou. She scored 5 goals, picked up 6 ground balls, and won a draw control. The Tewaaraton nominee played a spectacular game and led the Cardinal’s offensive energy. Stanford was able to cut down the 9-4 halftime deficit to 9-8 on Dikeou’s fourth goal, with 16:28 left to play.
However, the Cardinal could not hold off the Gators’ subsequent counter. Florida responded with five consecutive goals, taking an 14-8 lead with 11:45 left from which Stanford would never fully recover.
Dikeou ended the season with 64 draw controls, breaking by one a record set two years ago by former teammate Megan Lerner.
Junior midfielder Mackenzie Tesei complemented Dikeou’s effort, with her two second-half goals helping to jump-start the second half comeback attempt that closed Florida’s lead to 9-8.
“We came out of halftime with a good plan,” said head coach Amy Bokker. “Florida’s a really fast and athletic team and it was definitely hard to match that. I think we ran out of a little bit of gas because we had to play our higher-pressure defense. We had debates on whether to stay in it or go back into the original defense, but we were finding success with it, so ultimately we decided to stay in it. It tired us out in the end.”
The game would be the last collegiate matchup for seven Cardinal players, including Hannah Farr, Kyle Fraser, Rachel Kalick, Meredith Kalinowski, Chinna O’Suji, Emily Newstrom and Rachel Ozer. This class has left a great legacy, including a 51-24 record, three NCAA appearances, and two MPSF titles.
Contact Kristina Bassi at kbassi ‘at’ stanford.edu.