BOULDER, Colo. – No. 2 seed Stanford rolled over top-seeded Colorado 15-6 to win the first Pac-12 women's lacrosse tournament on Sunday afternoon at Prentup Field.
No. 13 Stanford (15-4) clinched the Pac-12's first automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. It will be the program's eighth NCAA appearance, and seventh in 10 seasons under head coach Amy Bokker.
"It's awesome," Bokker said. "I thought our team just played so empowered and with so much energy. They really connected out on the field and they came ready to play. I am just really proud of our team all together.
"They were inspired," Bokker added. "This was a goal of ours all season. I think they were really focused and our defense was amazing. They just play so disciplined. I can't say enough about their play and Allie (DaCar) coming up huge with all those saves. It really all just came together."
Senior goalkeeper Allie DaCar matched a career high with 14 saves and was named tournament MVP. She also led the team with five ground balls. For the weekend, DaCar finished with 24 saves over the weekend, and allowed just 20 goals in 120 minutes of action for a .545 save percentage.
"I think the ball was just looking like a beach ball today as it was coming," Bokker said of DaCar. "You have those days and I am glad it was today for her. She has worked very hard throughout the whole season. I am glad her biggest game came in her biggest moment."
"The defense was setting me up for saves that I wanted to see," DaCar said. "We know Colorado. We know their players and their tendencies, and we just scouted them really well and I think we were prepared. We've talked a lot about making history and that's what we did today."
In addition to DaCar, senior Kelsey Murray, senior Kelly Myers and sophomore Daniella McMahon were named to the inaugural Pac-12 All-Tournament team.
Murray finished with one goal and three assists and broke her own school record for single-season points—she had 87 last season and is up to 89 this year.
Junior Areta Buness and freshmen Galen Lew and Ali Baiocco each scored three times for the Cardinal. Stanford built a 7-2 lead at the half, and led by as many as 12 before Colorado scored the last three goals of the game for the final margin.
Lew scored the title game's first goal a little more than six minutes in. Stanford shut out the Buffaloes for the first 10 minutes before the hosts broke through to tie it at 1-1.
Freshman Taylor Scornavacco scored back-to-back goals and Murray added her first of the game for a 4-1 lead midway through the first half.
No. 14 Colorado (13-5) scored to make it 4-2 at the 14:48 mark, but Stanford held the Buffaloes off the scoreboard for the next 18:22 of game time.
In the meantime, the Cardinal scored seven times. Baiocco had a hat trick in that span, Buness scored twice and senior Dillon Schoen made it 11-3 with 27:25 to play.
After Colorado broke its scoreless streak, the Buffaloes went another 15 minutes before scoring again. In all, it was a span of 33:46 with just one goal.
Stanford scored four more times and led 15-3 with 13:00 remaining. The Buffaloes stopped the running clock with just over five minutes to go, but did not score again.
Scornavacco finished with two goals and two ground balls. Nick had four ground balls and three draw controls and junior Julia Massaro had three draw controls and a pair of ground balls. McMahon filled the box score with a goal, assist, two ground balls, two draw controls and three caused turnovers.
Colorado led in shots (35-34) and draw controls (12-11), but Stanford held the edge in draw controls 24-23. The Cardinal defense forced 13 turnovers and held the Buffaloes to just 3-of-9 on free positions and 15-of-20 (.750) on clears, while Stanford was nearly perfect at 23-for-24.
Stanford reached the title game with a dramatic second-half comeback win over third-seeded and 20th-ranked USC, 15-14, on Friday. Highlights and recap here.
Stanford will now await the NCAA tournament selection show on Sunday, May 6 at 9 p.m. ET.