By Sally Egan
The No. 18 Stanford women’s lacrosse team (11-4, 6-3 Pac-12) finished off its final road stretch with a bang this weekend, defeating No. 22 Colorado (7-6, 6-2 Pac-12) before traveling to Eugene and putting away Oregon (3-13, 1-8 Pac-12) for the second time this season. The Colorado victory was especially sweet, coming in an overtime comeback, as Stanford avenged its earlier season loss.
The game in Boulder started out similar to the last one, with the teams exchanging pairs of goals. Stanford captured two-goal leads three times in the first half, but each time, Colorado answered with two goals of its own. The score was tied 6-6 at the half, with five different Stanford player contributing goals, as senior Genesis Lucero, junior Mikaela Watson, freshman Caitlin Chicoski and freshman Daniella McMahon each scored one, while sophomore Ali Baiocco contributed two.
Despite the even matchup in the first half, Colorado jumped to a 11-7 lead over the course of the second half and maintained this lead with less than ten minutes left in the game. This is when Stanford’s magical comeback began. With 8:58 left, Lucero scored and Baiocco and sophomore Emma Knaus both found the back of the next within a two-minute span to cut Colorado’s lead to one. Sophomore Katherine Gjertsen then scored two to give Stanford a 12-11 lead. When she scored the 12th goal, it marked Stanford’s fifth goal in less than five-and-a-half minutes of play, an incredible run.
However, the Cardinal wasn’t out of the woods yet as Colorado scored with less than a minute remaining to send the game to overtime. With five seconds left in this extra period, Gjertsen scored again, completing a hat trick on her way to leading Stanford to a 13-12 victory. This was Gjertsen’s sixth hat trick of the season.
“We just came together in the huddle and we talked about who wanted it more,” Gjertsen said of the team’s remarkable comeback.
Fresh off of this thrilling victory, the Cardinal headed to Eugene to face Oregon, the bottom feeders of the Pac-12. Despite the easy competition, Stanford did not take its foot off the gas, blasting in 12 goals in the first half alone.
In this first half, senior Julia Massaro tied her previous school record with 11 draw controls before demolishing this record in the second half as she ended the game with 18 draw controls. This performance also allowed Massaro to become the first player in school history to surpass 200 draw controls.
In addition to Massaro’s spectacular performance, other members of the team stepped up as well. Baiocco had a career-high eight points as she scored five goals and three assists. The team as a whole scored four goals in the first three minutes of play, with Watson, Lucero, Baiocco and sophomore Galen Lew each contributing one.
While Oregon tried to come back, scoring the next three, Stanford scored six of the following seven goals, including three straight from Baiocco in a seven minute span.
Stanford relaxed a little bit in the second half, but this didn’t stop the Cardinal women from making more history. Senior Areta Buness scored her 100th career point with a second-half goal that gave Stanford a nine-point lead. The game ended in a 18-12 Cardinal victory.
Stanford has one more home game against Cal (6-10,3-6 Pac-12) before Pac-12 playoffs start. This will be the final home game for the four seniors on the team. The game takes place Friday, April 19 at 5:00 p.m.