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Stanford downs Cal in lacrosse final

Daily Planet Wire Services
Monday May 07, 2001

California put everything it had out on the field in Sunday’s Western Women’s Lacrosse League Division I Championship Final but found itself coming up just a few goals short of the title, dropping a close and hard fought battle to Stanford, 11-6, inside Memorial Stadium. The Bears finish the 2001 season second in the WWLL’s Division I standings.  

Stanford (14-5 overall, 9-0 in the WWLL) jumped out to a 1-0 lead after 1:50 of play on a goal by sophomore attacker Liz Lanese. California (12-6 overall, 5-4 in the WWLL) and Stanford would go on to trade goals before the Cardinal closed out the first half with a pair of scores to enter the break up 5-3. 

“We tried not to overload our team with a detailed game plan,” said Malko. “I thought the first half was a close game. Stanford did a good job not being hesitant. The more confidence they gained the less we played with.” 

The Cardinal opened the second half with two more goals before Cal could find its offense, eventually recording a pair of goals by junior attacker Halsey Monger and freshman attacker Emily Edwards to pull the Bears to within two, 7-5, with 20:14 remaining in the game. Freshman midfielder Noor Dawood then tossed in three goals and assisted on a fourth to push Stanford’s lead out to 11-6. Dawood finished the game with four goals and two assists for the Cardinal while Lanese led the Stanford offense with five goals on the afternoon. 

“I wanted the defense to be more patient and aware of loose balls,” said Malko. “We weren’t able to do that. The offense just needed to get the ball more. I think Alana Dunnigan had a fantastic year. She has stepped-up in every game with so much heart and confidence. Halsey Monger also created a lot of opportunities for us and really hustled out there today.” 

Sophomore goalkeeper Eden Coelho led a resilient Bears defense with 21 saves, her second-highest total of the season. Coelho finishes the year with a .596 save percentage and an 8.31 goals-against average. 

Freshman attacker Colleen O’Mara led Cal offensively with two goals while senior midfielder Alana Dunnigan added two assists. 

With the win, Stanford captured the WWLL Division I title for the fourth consecutive year. 

“It’s hard not to walk away from this game without a sense of disappointment,” said Malko, “but it’s our job as a team to take away the positives from this experience. It sets up a level of expectation for our returning players.”