UC Davis Can't Hold Lead, Loses Heartbreaker to Stanford

DAVIS, Calif. -- Freshman Charlotte Morris scored a career-high five goals and junior Elizabeth Datino tallied four goals and five assists for nine total points, but UC Davis was unable to protect a four-goal second-half lead, dropping a 19-18 heartbreaker to Stanford in a crucial Mountain Pacific Sports Federation contest at Aggie Staduim Wednesday night.

The Aggies, looking for their first win over the Cardinal since 2000, fall to 5-9 overall and 2-4 in conference. The Farm improves to 5-9 and moves to 3-2 in MSPF play. The game effectively served as a deciding contest for the conference tournament's fourth and final seed.

Besides the offense from Morris and Datino, juniors Anna Geissbuhler and Hannah Mirza each had three goals while freshman Elizabeth Landry compiled two goals and an assist. Junior Stephanie Guercio posted three assists and two draw controls, and defender Tess Alekna scooped up four ground balls. Freshman goalkeeper Kai Murphy, who relieved starter Jordan Majka midway through the first half, amassed a season-best eight saves.

"This was the best game UC Davis lacrosse has played," said Aggie head coach Elaine Jones. "I'm just so proud of their effort, proud of all of them. We stayed relentless, we came back and went ahead, and gave ourselves the opportunity to win. It was an outstanding effort, the result notwithstanding. It's just the toughest loss I've had as a coach."

Stanford was led by the the triple threat of senior Emilie Boeri, freshman Hannah Farr and sophomore Anna Kim, each of whom finished with four goals. Farr also had six draw controls, matching Morris for the game lead.

Each team traded 4-0 runs in the first half to forge a 7-7 tie with 11:24 remaining in the first half. Then after Kim's eight-meter score put the Cardinal up by one, Morris and Datino netted goals in the 21st and 22nd minutes, respectively, giving UC Davis a 9-8 edge. Kim then responded with back-to-back goals amidst a run of three unanswered Stanford strikes, restoring the lead to the visitors. By halftime, the Cardinal held a 12-11 lead.

However, Sara Quero's goal in the final minutes of the first half had begun what would become a 6-0 total run for UC Davis, giving the Aggies as much as a 16-12 lead with 23:27 left in the second. Farr connected with Boeri while Morris assisted Mirza on the other end to put the board at 17-13 with 20:44 left.

This proved to be the largest lead for UC Davis. Stanford scored six straight goals during the next 16 minutes to reclaim the lead for good. The Cardinal also had two key defensive plays throughout this run. Freshman Kyle Fraser snared a leaping interception in the midfield to end an Aggie transition attempt with 17:07 left. Later in the frame, with the score at 17-17 and UC Davis well in its attacking third, Farr's stick check behind the Aggie cage set up a quick clear to her offense.

The Aggies ended their 18-minute scoring drought when Morris won the draw after Stanford's 19th goal, quickly advanced toward the opposing cage, and fed Geissbuhler for a goal with 2:49 remaining. But Farr won the next draw and the Cardinal went into a prevent mode to kill two minutes from the clock in protection of their lead.

Stanford hit 6 of 8 on its eight-meter chances and managed to capitalize on two UC Davis yellow cards with a pair of power-play goals. The Aggies managed to shoot a season-high 64.3 percent, including 11 for 15 before the break.

UC Davis returns to action on Saturday, closing out the MSPF schedule with a Picnic Day game against Fresno State at 4:00 p.m.

2012-04-19



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