Feb. 15, 2007
THIS WEEK IN GAEL LACROSSE
The Saint Mary's women's lacrosse team will open its 2007 campaign at home against the No. 16 ranked Stanford Cardinal on Friday, Feb. 16 at 3:30 p.m. The opening game of the season will also be the opening game of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation season for the Gaels. The game is the first of a seven-game homestand for SMC at Saint Mary's Stadium.
SCOUTING THE STANFORD CARDINAL
Stanford enters Friday's conference game with an 0-1 overall record following a 10-6 conference loss to Oregon on Monday. The Cardinal entered this week ranked No. 16 in the preseason Lacrosse Magazine national rankings. Stanford is also ranked No. 18 in the IWLCA and Inside Lacrosse polls.
Stanford is coming off a 2006 campaign that produced a 12-6 overall record and a first place finish with a 4-1 MPSF record. The 2006 first place MPSF finish marked the third straight for Stanford. The Cardinal advanced to the 2006 NCAA Tournament before losing in the first round.
This season, the Cardinal return 20 players from last season's NCAA Tournament team. In the first game of the season, however, the Cardinal had one of their 11 newcomers step up. Freshman midfielder Lauren Schmidt had four points in the loss to Oregon, with three goals and one assist in her first collegiate game. Senior attacker Michelle DeChant added two goals in eight shots and Daphne Patterson had two points with one goal and one assist against the Ducks.
SMC VERSUS STANFORD; THE SERIES
When the Gaels and Cardinal meet on Friday, it will mark the 13th meeting between the two schools. Stanford has won all 12 games played between the two schools. Since Saint Mary's joined the Division I ranks in 2000, SMC and Stanford have played at least once in each of the past six seasons.
In the last game played between SMC and Stanford, the No. 20 ranked Cardinal posted an 18-7 victory over the Gaels at Stanford. Stanford has won all six games played in Moraga.
Since the beginning of the program in 2000, the Saint Mary's women's lacrosse team has posted a victory in the first game of the season three times. The Gaels are 3-4 overall in the season opener, and has lost the season opener to Stanford twice.
In home season openers, Saint Mary's has a 4-3 record. The Gaels posted a 16-15 win over Robert Morris last season after losing to Stanford (14-5) to open the 2005 home schedule. SMC has opened the home schedule against Stanford twice and have an 0-2 record in those games.
For the fifth time in seven seasons, Saint Mary's will open the season with a conference game. The Gaels have dropped all six conference openers. Since joining the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation in 2004, Saint Mary's has an 0-3 record in the first MPSF game of the season.
When the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation formed a conference for West Coast women's lacrosse Saint Mary's, California, Denver, UC Davis, and Stanford established the conference in 2004. Oregon joined the conference in 2005 to make the MPSF a six-team conference for women's lacrosse. Saint Mary's has a combined 1-13 overall record in MSPF games, with its only win coming against UC Davis (12-8) during the 2006 season.
LOOKING BACK AT LAST SEASON
The Saint Mary's women's lacrosse team posted a 4-14 overall record and a 1-4 MPSF mark during the 2006 season. SMC opened the season with back-to-back wins over Robert Morris (16-15) and UC Davis (12-8) before dropping nine of the next 10 games. The last win of the season came against Marist, when the Gaels posted a 15-13 road win. Saint Mary's lost its two leading scorers from last season in Kim Reny (transfer) and Molly Wagner (graduation). Reny led the team in goals (42) and points (51) as a junior, but suffering a knee injury. She decided not return for her senior season. Wagner finished the season with 40 points after scoring 28 goals and dishing out 12 assists, both were second on the team.
Saint Mary's does return its next seven leading scorers. Chloe Dee and Jen Utley finished third and fourth, respectively, in scoring last season. Dee finished with 35 points (25g, 10a) and Utley finished with 34 points after scoring 20 goals and dishing out a team-high 14 assists as a sophomore. Dana Elfvin had 21 points, P.J. Hainley and Jackie Spencer had 19 points each, and Sonja Kapusta added 16 points on 13 goals and three assists. Spencer averaged 1.5 points per game after playing in just 12 games as a junior. She missed the last six games of the season due to a leg injury.
WHAT'S NEXT FOR SMC
The Saint Mary's women's lacrosse team will return to action on Saturday, February 24 when the Gaels host the Canisius College Griffins. The game between SMC and Canisius is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. in Saint Mary's Stadium.