No. 15 Stanford Struggles Past Cal in MPSF Semifinals

Denver, Colo. - No. 15 Stanford earned a 9-7 win over California in the semifinals of the MPSF Tournament on Friday afternoon in the cold of Colorado. The Cardinal (13-5, 5-1 MPSF) advance to Sunday's tournament final with the win.

The Cardinal drastically outshot Cal throughout the game, but could not manage to break the game open thanks to some good goaltending by Golden Bear goalie, Allie Shropshire. Stanford totaled 43 shots, but managed just the nine goals, as Shropshire made 17 saves.

Cal took an early 1-0 lead, before Leslie Foard evened the game with a goal. Carolyn Bradley assisted on the goal that came at the 21:04 mark in the half. Seven minutes later, Catherine Swanson gave Stanford the lead with a goal on a free position shot. Although the game stayed tense, Stanford would not trail again.

Later, Dana Lindsay found Claire Hubard for a goal and then Julie Christy scored an unassisted goal to give Stanford a 4-2 lead at the half. Stanford outshot the Golden Bears 21-7 in the half, but managed only the two-goal lead.

In the second half, the scoring picked up for both teams as the teams seemed to trade goals. Christy added two more goals to earn the hat trick for the game. Lauren Schmidt also scored a pair of second-half goals, while Leigh Lucas also added a goal.

Annie Read was again strong in goal, making six of her seven saves in the second half.

Stanford will now play in the MPSF title game for the seventh consecutive year. The Cardinal have won the past five MPSF conference titles, but have extra motivation this year with the winner automatically advancing to an NCAA play-in game. Stanford has not advanced to the NCAA tournament since 2006, which was the only time in program history.

The MPSF Championship is set for Sunday, May 2, at noon, PST. The Cardinal will face the winner of the second semifinal between Denver and UC Davis. Denver is the tournament host and enters the tournament undefeated in conference. UC Davis is fresh off a spirited second-half comeback against Stanford, before falling 17-14, just last week in the MPSF regular season finale.

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DENVER California lost to No. 15 Stanford, 9-7, and ended their season in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Tournament semifinal on Friday at the University of Denver's Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium. Sophomore attacker Allie Welsh scored a game-high four goals and junior goalkeeper Allie Shropshire made a career-high 17 saves for the third-seeded Golden Bears, who close the year with an 8-10 record.

The second-seeded Cardinal improved to 13-5 and will play the winner of Friday's Denver-UC Davis semifinal in Sunday's MPSF final. The MPSF champion will host a May 8 play-in vs. Atlantic-10 champion Massachusetts for a spot in the NCAA Tournament.

Shropshire kept the Bears close despite the large shot disparity; Stanford outshot Cal, 43-21. The Bears scored three of the game's last five goals, including the final two. But that wasn't enough to catch the Cardinal.

Julie Christy (3 goals) and MPSF Player of the Year Lauren Schmidt (2 goals, 1 assist) led Stanford in scoring with three points each. Cardinal goalie Annie Read made seven saves.

One day after scoring a season-high 20 goals in eliminating Saint Mary's, 20-11, in the MPSF quarterfinals, Cal tied a season low with just two first-half goals against its rival. The Bears fell to 6-20 in the all-time series with Stanford.

Cal had brought a season-high four-game winning streak into today's game and started on a positive note, as sophomore midfielder Vail Horn scored the game's first goal at 8:29 in the first half. But three different Cardinal players scored to put Stanford ahead, 3-1, by the 16:36 mark.

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