Stanford’s Cagan Stadium is one of the nicest venues in NCAA lacrosse. It has Bermuda grass, great seating and a not-quite-completed new locker room that will be ready by the time the Cardinal play their first 2013 regular season game.
It also has a banner chronicling Stanford’s long history as the best in the West: 15 conference championships, some in now-defunct leagues like the Western Women’s Lacrosse League and the Mountain Pacific Lacrosse League (MPSF). But from 2005 to 2011, the Cardinal ruled the current Mountain Pacific Sports Federation, winning seven titles in a row. That came to an end last season, when Stanford fell to Oregon in the MPSF championship.
The 13-10 loss to the Ducks was a tough end to a tough year, which the Cardinal began with a preseason No. 9 ranking and ended with an 8-10 record, no MPSF title and no NCAA bid.
“There’s part of them that wants to forget about last year, but that’s also motivation for them,” new assistant coach Lauren Schwarzmann said. “This whole athletic department, as a whole, is always speaking of championships, and our team is the same.”
The squad has only two seniors and six juniors, but there is reason to see promise in the young Cardinal. At last weekend’s Stars & Stripes event, they played Team Australia, and trailed 10-5 at the half. They rallied in the second period and freshman midfielder Paige Southmayd tied the game at 14-14 with 1:06 to play. In the end, Australia needed a game-winner from Marlee Paton — the Big East Midfielder of the Year from Loyola — to seal the win.
“We’re bringing new people in. It might be a rebuilding year, but we’re getting experienced and comfortable,” said Lucy Dikeou, another freshman midfielder who scored two goals in the loss to Australia.
The Cardinal’s comeback versus the Aussies was sparked by a seven-save second-half performance from junior goalkeeper Lyndsey Munoz. (Munoz is also a LaxMagazine.com blogger; click here for her insights into the game.) The Stanford defense has the benefit of experience. In addition to Munoz, senior Elizabeth Adam (31GB, 16CT) played in every 2012 game, and sophomore Caroline Scanlan (25GB, 13CT) started for most of the season.
For more: http://www.laxmagazine.com/college_women/DI/2012-13/news/101012_30_in_30_will_stanford_restart_its_mpsf_reign