No. 6 Stanford tops Oregon
The Cardinal wins MPSF, earns the automatic NCAA bid
MORAGA, Calif. - No. 6 Stanford struggled early, but came on late to win the MPSF Championship game and earn the automatic berth to the NCAA tournament. Stanford knocked off Oregon, 12-10, despite falling behind 7-0 in the first half.
The Cardinal earned its seventh consecutive conference tournament title with a furious comeback after a lethargic start dug a deep hole. The Cardinal will now advance to its second-consecutive NCAA tournament and third in program history.
"I am really proud of our team's ability to fight and stay in the game," said head coach Amy Bokker. "A game is 60 minutes and we never gave up. It's will and drive like that you need to win a championship."
Oregon came out with the early energy and built a big lead, scoring seven goals in the first 14:28 of the game. At that point, Stanford made a change in goal and Lyndsey Munoz took over. The freshman fared much better, making seven saves and allowing just three goals the rest of the way. For her efforts, Munoz was named the tournament MVP.
The Cardinal finally got on the board at the 15:02 mark of the first half when Emile Boeri scored on a feed from Sarah Flynn. The goal began a run of four straight Stanford goals to get the score back to 7-4 at the 2:10 mark in the half. Lauren Schmidt, Leslie Foard and Catherine Swanson also scored goals during the stretch.
Oregon added a late goal and took the 8-4 lead to the break. The Cardinal outshot the Ducks 20-11 in the half, but won just five of 13 draw controls. Oregon's Caroline Federighi made nine saves in the half to keep Stanford to just four goals.
The Cardinal came out with renewed energy in the second half, scoring the first two goals. Karen Nesbitt scored an unassisted goal at the 25:04 mark followed by a goal from Flynn that was assisted by Boeri. The goal for Fynn tied the Stanford career record for goals with 143.
Oregon responded with a goal to push its lead back to three, but Stanford then scored three-straight to get the game even. Jaqueline Candelaria had two of the goals during the run, while Nesbitt added her second of the game as the Cardinal pulled even at the 17:16 mark in the half.
Oregon refused to give up the lead easily, scoring again to regain the lead at 10-9, before Stanford would tie the game back up at 10 with a free-position goal from Foard.
Foard then gave Stanford its first lead at the 6:24 mark on an assist from Anna Kim. The goal gave the MPSF Player of the Year a hat trick and 41 for the season.
Flynn would score Stanford's final goal to secure the 12-10 victory and in the process grab the school record for goals all by herself. Her 144 goals is the new standard for Stanford lacrosse.
In addition to Munoz; Flynn, Foard, Paige Farmakis and Maggie Sachs were named to the all-tournament team.
The victory gives Stanford the automatic bid to the NCAA Championships where it will be one of the 16 teams in the field. The Cardinal will find out next week whether it will host a first round game or have to go on the road.