Fraser Leads No. 18 Stanford Over Buffs in MPSF Semifinals

DENVER -- Kyle Fraser scored six goals -- one off the school record -- to lead Stanford to a 15-6 victory over Colorado and a berth in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation lacrosse championship game.

Fraser, a junior attack from Fort Worth, Texas, came off the bench to set a collegiate career high, bettering a five-goal output against UC Davis last year.

The semifinal victory enabled No. 18-ranked Stanford (14-3) to advance to a rematch with No. 20 Denver (17-1), an 18-9 winner over Oregon. The championship will be Sunday at 10:00 a.m. PT. The game pits the top two seeds against each other, with top-seeded Denver playing at home and an automatic berth into the NCAA tournament for the winner.

The teams met once this season, with Denver rallying to a 13-12 victory over Stanford on April 4 on the way to the MPSF regular-season title.

Stanford took a season-high 44 shots against Colorado, forcing 16 saves from freshman goalie Paige Soenksen. No. 3-seeded Colorado, a first-year program with a 23-player roster that includes 21 freshmen, finished 11-8.

Fraser scored four goals, including three consecutive, during a 9-0 first-half run that allowed the Cardinal to take a 10-1 lead. Fraser also had an assist in the game, three ground balls and a draw control.

Stanford sophomore Lucy Dikeou, a Denver native, scored three goals and had two assists. Teammates Meg Lentz and Rachel Ozer had two goals apiece, and Alex Poplawski had six draw controls.

Stanford has advanced to the MPSF final all 11 years of the tournament's existence. The Cardinal is 8-2 in those games.

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DENVER As it had done throughout its inaugural season, the University of Colorado lacrosse team had a strong presence in the second half, but this time it wouldn't be enough as the Buffaloes fell 15-6 to No. 18 Stanford in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation semifinals.

"Stanford, they're a great team in our conference, and they're competing at the national level to be in the NCAA Tournament," CU head coach Ann Elliott said. "We knew it was going to be a battle and a tough challenge for us. We were excited about the opportunity. We wanted to come out and compete, but they looked good tonight. They looked fast; they have a lot of weapons. It was tough for us the first 30 minutes. I though our last 30, our kids started playing with a little more confidence. That was good to end on that note."

Stanford (14-3) was a dominant force in every aspect of the game, taking a season-high 44 shots and limiting CU (11-8) to 18, including just five in the first half. Though Stanford took the most shots of any CU opponent this season, the Buffs' stellar goalie and MPSF Rookie of the Year Paige Soenksen nabbed 16 saves just three shy of the career mark she set in the teams' first meeting on April 6.

The Cardinal controlled the ground, scooping up 10 more ground balls (20 to 10), and the draw, winning five more draw controls (14 to nine). Though Stanford scored just three free-position goals, they took 11 free-position shots to CU's three. Stanford easily controlled possession by turning the ball over just seven times, while causing 14 of CU's 19 total turnovers. Stanford's pressure was especially strong in the midfield, with Colorado successfully clearing the ball just 11 times out of 20 attempts.

"Our defense gave them a lot of second chances, which led to the number of shots," Soenksen said. "Our defense would get a check and the ball would be on the ground and we just didn't come up with the ground balls to transition over to attack. We kind of gave them all the opportunities that they had."

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2014-05-03



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