Starting the season ranked No. 13 in the nation, Stanford has met and proved equal to every challenge to start the 2011 season. Starting with an upset of then-No. 10 Notre Dame in the first game of the season, the Cardinal went 8-0 to start the season, defeating then-No. 5 Syracuse during its season-opening four-game homestand, then racking up road wins over Ohio State, Canisius, Cincinnati and Louisville.
When Stanford rolled into Nashville, however, to take on No. 13 Vanderbilt, the streak came to an end.
Senior attacker Katherine Denkler scored five goals, juniors Courtney Kirk and Kendall Pittinger added three apiece, and the No. 15 Commodores upset the No.7 Cardinal, 15-10.
“I feel like it’s the first day I’ve watched Vanderbilt Lacrosse play,” head coach Cathy Swezey said after the game. “We fired on all cylinders. Every player stepped up to the plate, we responded really well to the game plan, and we beat a really good Stanford team. I’m thrilled for our girls, and I’m hoping this is just a kind of a takeoff point for us.”
The teams battled back and forth through the first half, with the Cardinal holding leads of 3-2, 4-3 and 6-5 in the first 24 minutes. After Racel Ozer’s goal with 6:26 remaining gave the Cardinal the lead, however, Kirk and Pettinger scored a goal apiece to close out the half, and Vanderbilt opened the second half with six unanswered goals, including two apiece from Kirk and Denkler, taking a 13-6 lead. The Cardinal scored three of the last five goals
With the win, the Commodores stand at 6-4 on the season, with losses to North Carolina, Northwestern, Duke and Penn State, all teams that are ranked or received votes in the IWLCA Division I Poll. They will move on to face Louisville on Wednesday before taking on ALC foe Johns Hopkins on Sunday. The Cardinal, meanwhile, will return home face Brown on Tuesday before facing MPSF rival California on Friday.
Need to Know
• After playing two games in a month since starting their season on February 22, No. 1 Adelphi picked up the pace last week, adding three more wins to their season-opening unbeaten streak. The defending NCAA Division II Champions traveld to Le Monye to face the No. 4 Dolphins on Wednesday, and scored three unanswered goals to break a 7-7 tie in the second half en route to an 11-9 victory. From there, the Panthers returned home to Garden City and pounded Northeast-10 foe St. Anselm, scoring 18 goals in the first half en route to a 22-0 victory on Saturday. Adelphi turned around the next day to defeat Dowling in a non-conference game, 20-12, behind seven goals and an assist from Erica Devito and a three-goal, nine-assist effort from Claire Petersen. The Panthers jump back into Northeast-10 play this week, facing Merrimack on Wednesday and traveling to Franklin Pierce on Saturday.
• The No. 1 team in Division III took a tumble on Friday, as No. 7 Franklin & Marshall defeated Salisbury in double overtime in Lancaster, Pa. The reigning NCAA Champions scored four of the first five goals, but the Diplomats battled back to tie the score by halftime. In the second half, Franklin & Marshall scored the first two goals of the second half, and led by two goals with 11:52 left before the Sea Gulls battled back to tie the score. Offensive opportunities were hard to come by in overtime, but Lauren Ehrhardt scored on a free position shot with 4:14 remaining in the second extra period, lifting the Diplomats to a win. The Sea Gulls did make a fast turnaround, however, defeating York (Pa.) on Saturday afternoon.
• No. 4 Penn turned heads early this season with a six-game win streak to open up, including a win over then-No. 3 North Carolina, but the Quakers’ season-opening win streak came to an end on Wednesday in Baltimore. Johns Hopkins held the Quakers’ offense to a season-low five goals, and got four goals from Colleen McCaffrey en route to an 8-5 win at Homewood Field. The Quakers didn’t take long to shake off the loss, though, beating Ivy League foe Cornell, 10-6, in Philadelphia on Sunday, running their win streak against Ancient Eight foes to 32 games. Next up for Penn is a meeting with No. 1 Maryland, as the Quakers will travel to College Park on Friday to face the defending NCAA Champions.
• No. 6 Loyola swept the weekly honors in the Big East, with senior Grace Gavin earning her second Offensive Player of the Week honor and junior goaltender Kerry Stoothoff being named Defensive Player of the Week for the fourth time this season. Gavin score 10 goals and handed out five assists in wins over UMBC and Denver, while Stoothoff made 11 saves in the 15-8 win over the Retrievers and made one more save in 35 minutes of action in a 20-10 win over the Pioneers.
• Muhlenberg sophomore attacker Alex Bellini and FDU-Florham senior defenseman Stefanie Sanzari were featured last week in Inside Lacrosse’s Photos of the Week from the women’s game (http://insidelacrosse.com/news/2011/03/24/photos-week-cornell-stony-broo…). Sanzari collected two ground balls in the Devils’ 16-13 win on March 16.
• No. 3 Limestone went 1-2 in games decided by a single goal, but the Saints are now 3-0 this season in those close games. The Saints were tested on the road on Thursday by Pfeiffer, but escaped from Gaffney, S.C. with a 7-6 victory.
• No. 18 Dartmouth swept the Ivy League’s weekly player honors after wins over Oregon and Columbia. Senior attacker Kat Collins was named the League’s Offensive Player of the Week after scoring 10 goals and handing out four assists in a week that included her 100th career goal, while freshman goalie Kristen Giovanniello as named the league’s Defensive Player of the Week after making 13 stops in the 12-10 win over Oregon and eight saves in a 15-7 win over Columbia.