Monday, April 2, 2018

Stanford University: No Foolin'

Recap, photo courtesy of Stanford
Cardinal takes sole possession of first place with 14-11 win at No. 15 USC

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - For the second straight Sunday, freshman Galen Lew scored the game winner for No. 16 Stanford lacrosse to cap a comeback victory over No. 15 USC.

Stanford (9-3, 6-1 Pac-12) has won six in a row and nine of its last 10 games, and moved into sole possession of first-place in the Pac-12 with the 14-11 win at McAlister Field.

On April Fools Day, the Cardinal was up to the same old tricks. Much like last Sunday, Stanford faced a multi-goal deficit in the second half and dominated the finish to pull out a victory over the Trojans. 

No team led by more than one until USC (7-5, 5-2 Pac-12) scored back-to-back goals for a 10-8 lead with 21:27 to play. Stanford took over from there with six of the game's final seven goals. 

Just 22 seconds after freshman Areta Buness pulled the Cardinal within one, Lew tied the game with 15:58 to play. Less than a minute later, senior Kelsey Murray, who finished with four points (two goals, two assists), gave Stanford the lead at 11-10.

Lew scored the game's decisive goal when senior Dillon Schoen found her cutting across the middle. Lew buried the shot in the back of the net to make it 12-10 with 7:48 to go. The Trojans, who were held scoreless for the final 18:08 of regulation and 8:37 of overtime last weekend, tallied their only goal over the final 21:27 to pull within, 12-11.

Freshman Ali Baiocco, who finished with a career-best six points (four goals, two assists), and senior Maggie Nick, who tallied three points (two goals, assist), scored some insurance for the Cardinal to finish off Stanford's third Top 25 win of the season -- and second on the road.

In the first half, there were four lead changes and six ties. The team's mostly alternated goals. Stanford had five different goal scorers, but USC took a 7-6 lead into intermission.  

DaCar earned her ninth win of the season with seven saves, while Genesis Lucero (eight) and Julia Massaro (five) led the Cardinal in draw controls. Massaro also matched team-highs with three ground balls and two caused turnovers.

Buness finished with two goals and two draw controls and Lew added an assist to also finish with three points.

Stanford out shot the Trojans, 19-7, in the second half and 35-22 overall. The Cardinal also led 10-3 in draw controls over the final 30 minutes, and 17-10 for the game. Both teams scooped up 20 ground balls, while Stanford was a perfect 18-for-18 on clear attempts.

Last Sunday, Lew scored a short-handed game-winner in sudden victory overtime to lift the Cardinal over then-No. 13 USC, 12-11, at Cagan Stadium. Stanford rallied from a four-goal deficit in the final 13 minutes. A full recap and highlights are here.

The Cardinal is a half game ahead of Colorado (7-4, 5-1 Pac-12) for the top spot in the Pac-12. The Buffaloes, who rallied from a seven-goal deficit in Boulder to beat Stanford in the first-ever Pac-12 lacrosse game, will visit The Farm for a rematch inside the Stanford football stadium on Friday, April 13 at 7 p.m. PT 

Prior to that, Stanford goes out-of-conference for the last time this season. The Cardinal welcomes UC Davis and Fresno State to The Farm -- a midweek matchup with the Aggies on Thursday at 6 p.m., and a Sunday matinee at noon against the Bulldogs.

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