NCAA Football

Lacrosse comes up short in MPSF Tournament final, losing 8-5 to USC

May 3, 2016

No. 4 USC women’s lacrosse (19-0, 9-0 MPSF) claimed its first MPSF title this Sunday after an 8-5 victory over No. 8 Stanford (14-4, 8-1). It was a heartbreaking loss for the Cardinal, which had won the MPSF title for the past nine seasons.

Freshman goalie Shahpar Mirza (3), senior midfielder Paige Southmayd (33), junior attacker Elizabeth Cusick (1), sophomore goalie Allie DaCar (44)

Sophomore goalie Allie DaCar (fourth from right) stepped up in goal during the second half against USC, turning away eight of the Trojans’ 12 shots. However, it would prove to be not enough, as USC beat the Cardinal 8-5 on Sunday. (SAM GIRVIN/The Stanford Daily)

Both teams’ defenses were resilient, resulting in a low-scoring game for championship-caliber teams. The Women of Troy and the Cardinal were aggressive in the midfield, causing a large number of turnovers throughout the game and an absolute battle for groundballs.

The draw posed the biggest advantage for the Trojans. Winning the first draw, they quickly brought the ball down and fired a shot in. USC put in two more unanswered goals off free position shots, putting the Trojans up by three goals in the first 13 minutes.

Stanford senior attacker Anna Salemo capitalized on the Cardinal’s ball possession and put in a goal to get Stanford on the board. Sophomore Dillon Schoen followed Salemo’s lead and cut hard towards goal, getting the goalie off balance and firing it in. Sophomore Allie DeCar protected her team in goal, saving 6 of the Trojans’ shots. For the last few minutes of the half, USC and Stanford traded goals. The half ended with USC up 5-3.

Moving into the second half, USC was quick to further advance its lead. Trojan star attacker Michaela Michael ripped in her 62nd goal of the season within the first two minutes of play. Behind her, the USC defense, one of the best in the nation, held off Stanford’s gritty attack by forcing a few crucial turnovers. However, Cardinal junior Laura Klein was fouled by USC and was rewarded a free position shot that brought her team back into the game.

On the defensive end, Stanford marked up tight on the USC attack. DeCar stepped up again in goal, turning away 8 of USC’s 12 shots. The Cardinal attack was boxed out by the Trojans’ top defense and could only get off 4 shots in the final 30 minutes, not enough to keep them in the game. USC closed out the contest with back-to-back goals to net the Trojans an 8-5 championship victory.

With the victory, USC won its first MPSF title in the fourth year of the program. After suffering a conference championship loss, Stanford now awaits its postseason fate with the NCAA Selection Show, which takes place on May 8.

Although a heartbreaking loss, a few Stanford players were honored with all-tournament team recognitions. Senior defenders Adrienne Anderson and Meg Lentz and sophomore goalkeeper Allie DaCar proved to be valuable players during the MPSF Tournament, earning notice for their strong individual play.

Contact Sydney Shaw at sshaw17 ‘at’ stanford.edu. 

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