No. 12 Stanford women’s lacrosse (1-1) split their season-opening weekend against non-conference opponents, routing UC Davis 20-10 in their opener before stagnating against a defensive Denver University. The Card displayed significant offensive efficiency in their opener but couldn’t continue their hot start against the Denver Pioneers, who closed out a 10-7 win after leading comfortably for most of the match.
On the road in Davis, the team pressed the gas early offensively as redshirt senior attacker Anna Salemo notched the Cardinal’s first goal of the season just three minutes into the match. With the score tied and just over five minutes left in the half, Stanford went on a four-goal unanswered run to take a 9-5 lead into the break, putting Davis in the backseat for the rest of the game.
Junior goalie Allie DaCar recorded five of her seven saves of the night in the second half as Stanford locked down on defense, allowing just three shots to find the back of the net until the closing minutes, when the Aggies would tack on a pair of consolation goals.
On the night in total, Stanford had an efficient 5-for-6 from free position shots and could have won by a bigger margin but for a nine-save performance from the two combined Davis goalkeepers.
Stanford’s offensive fortunes reversed upon returning home to Cagan Stadium on Sunday in their close loss to Denver University. Pioneer goalkeeper Maddy Stevenson was a force in front of goal, recording an astounding career-high 16 saves to help secure the upset victory for Denver.
While the loss will certainly sting, there were many positive takeaways from the match: Stanford dominated the stat line in shots (28 to 18), free-position shots (10 to 3) and turnovers (13 to 20). A number of close misses combined with a sluggish start and an incredulous performance from Stevenson were ultimately too much for the team to overcome.
Stanford was led by a core group of upperclassmen over the weekend: Juniors Kelly Myers and Dillon Schoen and seniors Elizabeth Cusick and Kelsey Murray, who all scored six points (goals plus assists) in a variety of different combinations for Stanford. Myers notched a team-high five goals over the course of the first two games for Stanford while Murray shares the team-high with three assists as the Cardinal offense showed flashes of its potential on the weekend.
No. 12 Stanford doesn’t have to look far for their redemption victory as the Cardinal prepare to square off against No. 10 Duke in the Patriot Cup game held at neutral-site Dallas, Texas. In their last clash, then-No. 9 Duke eliminated Stanford from the 2014 NCAA Tournament.
The two nationally-ranked programs will battle it out for the Patriot’s Cup on Saturday at 2 p.m.
Contact Lorenzo Rosas at enzor9 ‘at’ stanford.edu.