By Andrew Onodera
(BOULDER, CO) – The #13th ranked Stanford Cardinal used good old-fashioned defense to run past the top-seeded Colorado Buffaloes and win the inaugural Pac-12 Women’s Lacrosse Championship.
The first half started with both defenses locking down and holding each other scoreless for the opening seven minutes. Colorado’s goalie Julia Lisella made two huge saves to start the game off before finally letting in the game’s first goal to Stanford’s Galen Lew. After Colorado tied things up, Stanford’s Taylor Scornavacco scored two quick goals to lead her team to a 4-1 lead. For the rest of the half, Colorado only scored one additional goal off of a nice feed and finish from Darby Kiernan to Carly Cox. Stanford added three more goals before time expired and waltzed into halftime riding a 7-2 lead.
To start the final half, Colorado came out of the locker room with no energy. Stanford capitalized on all of the Buffaloes’ early mistakes and scored four goals in the first three minutes. Two of those goals game from Stanford’s Ali Baiocco while Areta Buness and Dillon Schoen split the remaining two tallies.
Despite Colorado’s best efforts, Stanford’s defense held the Buffaloes to just 17 shots in the second half, only 4 of which found the back of the net. This stellar defense kept Colorado at arm’s length for the entirety of the game, even after Colorado put together a late three-goal run. Stanford came out victorious by a score of 15-6.
In the end, Stanford used eight different scorers to defeat the Buffaloes. Ali Baiocco, Areta Buness, and Galen Lew all recorded hat tricks for the Cardinal in today’s championship victory.
With the win, Stanford improves to 15-4 on the season and is the first official Pac-12 Tournament Champion. As champions, the Cardinal secures the conference’s automatic bid into the NCAA Women’s Lacrosse Tournament.
Both Stanford and Colorado will now await the decisions of the NCAA Selection Committee. The NCAA Women’s Lacrosse Tournament bracket will be unveiled on Sunday May 6th at 9pm (EST).