California, Stanford advance to Pac-12 Women's Lacrosse Tournament Semifinals
After the first day of the 2019 Pac-12 Women’s Lacrosse Tournament, No. 4 seed CALIFORNIA and No. 3 seed STANFORD advance to the semifinals to face No. 1 seed and regular-season champion USC and No. 2 seed COLORADO.
The semifinals take place on Friday, April 26 at Papé Field in Eugene Ore., starting with No. 1 USC playing No. 4 California at 4:30 p.m. PT/ 7:30 p.m. MT then No. 2 Colorado going up against No. 3 Stanford. Both games are set for broadcast on Pac-12 Networks and will be available live on Pac-12.com/Now.
No. 4 California’s strong defense and patient offense proved to be the difference maker as the Golden Bears ran away with a 12-8 victory over No. 5 Arizona State in the opening game. Cal controlled the tempo of the game, firing off 32 shots and landing 21 on net, while ASU goalie Berkeley Bonneau made nine saves in the contest.
Cal captain Kristen Swanson was the star talent, leading all players with fours goals off six shots, collected two ground balls and dished out an assist for five total points. It marks the third time this season the senior has tallied at least four goals in a game, including a career-high five versus ASU during the regular season.
In a back-and-fourth game that saw multiple ties on the scoreboard in the first half, California held a 6-3 edge entering the locker room with tallies from six different players. Arizona State opened the second half with two goals right of the bat. Taylor Carson scored 10 seconds into the second half and ASU capitalized 26 seconds later with a dagger from Kate Dougherty.
Cal held an 8-9 lead while the final minutes ticked down, but the Golden Bears consistency stifled the Sun Devils’ comeback by rattling off three goals in the last five minutes of the match, including a pair from Swanson and one from Caroline Corzel.
No. 1 USC and No. 4 California meet for the third time this season with USC claiming both regular-season outings (19-7, 16-4).
In the second game, No. 3 seed and reigning Pac-12 Tournament Champion Stanford pushed a fast-pace offense that was no match for No. 6 Oregon, as the Cardinal walked away with a dominating 17-6 win. The Cardinal took charge of the game early, leading the Ducks, 10-3, at the half. The Cardinal’s powerful attack stemmed from caused turnovers on defense while talented players converted on the other end with 11 different student-athletes finding the back of the net.
Sophomore Katherine Gjertsen led the Cardinal with four goals, a pair of helpers and scooped up two ground balls. The Cardinal outshot the Ducks 47-13 and led the day in draw controls taking 19-5 opportunities.
“We know that each game can potentially be our last game, so we all just came together as a unit and decided to really kick it into gear.” Said Gjertsen on the high-scoring offence. “This is a new year and on the field we have a lot of new faces out there and I think that each year, although we won last year and it was awesome, we know that we’re going to take it game-by-game this year.”
Oregon freshman Rachel Hall competed for a full 60 minutes between the pipes and broke her own school record for saves in a single game with 21, which also ranks second in the NCAA this season. Sophomore Lillian Stump contributed most of the Ducks’ offense, posting her fourth-straight game with at least three goals and marked her third hat trick of the season.
The Cardinal advance to play No. 2 Colorado in the second game of the semifinals, which is a rematch of the Pac-12 Tournament title game from last year when Stanford won the title, 15-6. The two teams split decisions this season; the Buffs stole a 20-13 road win before dropping a 13-12 overtime game at home.
Following a practice day on Saturday, April 27, the advancing teams from the semifinals will play for the Pac-12 Tournament Championship on Sunday, April 28 at 1:00 p.m. PT/ 2 p.m. MT. Tune in to Pac-12 Network, the Pac-12 Now app or follow along with the Pac-12 Conference and Pac-12 Network social accounts to watch a champion be crowned.