By Andrew Tan
Still jostling for seeding in the upcoming Pac-12 Tournament, No. 18 Stanford women’s lacrosse (9-4, 4-3 Pac-12) will travel to Boulder, CO and Eugene, OR for critical conference games against No. 22 Colorado (7-5, 6-1 Pac-12) and Oregon (2-12, 0-7 Pac-12) over the weekend.
Friday’s game against the Buffaloes will in all likelihood determine second-place seeding in the upcoming conference tournament, as a win for Colorado would bring it into a tie with Stanford in overall record while holding the tiebreaker from two victories over the Card. On the other hand, a Stanford win would put the Card two games ahead in the loss column and virtually guarantee them a spot right behind USC in Pac-12 seeding.
A win on Colorado’s home turf could also go a long way in boosting Stanford’s confidence heading into the postseason as the squad has not managed a win over a ranked conference opponent, falling twice to USC and 20-13 to the Buffs earlier in the season on March 8 at the Farm. Last time out, the Cardinal’s mountain west opponents ambushed them in the first half, and Stanford was not able to recover from a poor initial showing later in the game. On Friday, the Cardinal will look to get out to a quick start and maintain its intensity and hustle throughout the game.
Historically, the program has had success against Colorado, with a 6-5 all-time record, though Stanford has lost the last three regular season matchups. If the Card can turn their recent struggles against the Buffaloes around on Friday, it would likely head into the conference tournament with renewed energy and belief, hoping for a bid for NCAA play.
The second game of the road trip against Oregon could be an afterthought considering the magnitude of the Colorado game and the Ducks’ abysmal season thus far. Stanford’s northern rivals have not won a conference game all season and were decimated 15-8 in Palo Alto on March 10. Still, Stanford cannot afford to drop this game and would do well to put the bottomfeeders away by the end of the first half.
The two games will be Stanford’s last on the road before the conference tournament. Stanford will then return to Cagan next week for its last match against Cal.
First draw control is slated for 3 p.m. Friday and 1 p.m. on Sunday.