February 20, 2011

Stanford No Fluke, Upends Syracuse

from press release


No. 13 Stanford's 11-10 victory Sunday over No. 5 Syracuse was "probably the biggest home win in the program's history," said head coach Amy Bokker.

© Greg Wall

PALO ALTO, Calif. -- No. 13 Stanford improved to 3-0, holding off No. 5 Syracuse, 11-10, Sunday afternoon at Cagan Stadium. The Cardinal jumped to an early lead and held off a Syracuse team that made the final four a year ago for one of the best wins in program history.

"This is probably the biggest home win in the program's history," said head coach Amy Bokker. "I was really proud of the energy of our team. We had to fight for everything, but our girls really hung in there."

The win further establishes the Cardinal as not just the top team on the west coast, but someone who can play with any team in the nation.

"I think we are really playing well as a team," said Bokker. "We have a lot of depth and it makes for great competition in practice. I think that allows us to be ready when we face a team like Syracuse."

Stanford grabbed an early 2-0 lead with goals from Emilie Boeri and Anna Kim. The Cardinal then pushed the lead to 4-1 at the 17:24 mark in the first half as Sarah Flynn and Rachel Ozer found the back of the net. The Cardinal had four different goal scorers, but the constant was Lauren Schmidt who assisted on three of the goals and did a great job of forcing the defense to commit and then finding the open cutter.

The other aspect of the game that helped Stanford build the lead was winning draw controls early. Karen Nesbitt had two early draw controls and three for the game. Overall, the Cardinal had a 13-9 edge for the game, creating the extra possessions it needed.

Syracuse fought back, but the Cardinal lead remained three at half, 7-4. Leslie Foard and Schmidt notched goals for six different goal scorers, before Emilie Boeri added a second goal just before the half.

The two teams traded goals to begin the second half with Schmidt and Flynn adding a second goal each and Carolyn Bradley becoming Stanford's seventh different goal scorer. Emilie Boeri assisted on two of the goals as part of her big afternoon. At 22:44 in the second half, the Cardinal lead was 10-6, but that would be as big as it got.

Syracuse rattled off two straight goals, but Bradley added a second goal on a perfect feed from Foard to get the lead back to three at 11-8 with 19:48 to play.

Then for over 10 minutes, neither team scored, as both goalkeepers were excellent in net. Annie Read made nine saves, while Liz Hogan made 12 for the Orange. Stanford outshot Syracuse 33-27 for the game as both teams created plenty of chances.

Syracuse brought the game to 11-10 with 2:43 to play and then won a draw to regain possession. The Orange called timeout to set up a play and created a good chance, but Read was there for her final and most important save.

The Cardinal would then run out the clock, but not without drama as Stanford turned the ball over, but was able to win it back. Read made a nice clearing pass to Ashley Aruffo after a Cardinal timeout to ensure possession to run out the clock.

"Annie came up huge and I thought we all showed a great deal of composure," added Bokker.

It was a hard-fought game, but one that the Cardinal will remember for some time. It is the highest-ranked opponent Stanford has beaten since 2009 when it defeated No. 3 Penn on the road. The Cardinal also improved its winning streak at Cagan Stadium to 18 games.

Stanford will remain home for the final game of its four-game home stand, next Sunday, Feb. 27, at noon. The Cardinal will look to push the Cagan winning streak to 19, before embarking on a five-game road trip.


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