May 4, 2014

Denver Claims First MPSF Title With Win Over Stanford

from Press Release

DENVER – Led by redshirt juniorHannah Hook (Arnold, Md.), No. 20 University of Denver women's lacrosse team defeated No. 18 Stanford 14-11 in the MPSF Tournament Championship on Sunday afternoon at Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium. The Pioneers earn their first MPSF Tournament Championship and an automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament. DU will make an appearance in the NCAA Tournament for the second-straight year.

"It feels great to know we are going to the tournament," said head coach Liza Kelly. "It's almost a relief to know we are guaranteed a spot, but now we need to wait and see who we play. Across the board, we took it hard in the first half. The girls were fired up today. We knew we could score, we knew we could win; it just came down to going out and executing. Hannah has been a stud for us in the back and has been a terrific leader for us all year."

Denver (18-1) had three Pioneers register hat tricks with senior Meredith Harris(Middleburg, Va.) and sophomore Christa Reese (Lutherville, Md.) each earning four points. Harris recorded three assists and a goal, while Reese finished with three goals and an assist.

"Having the tournament here on our home turf was huge for us," said Harris. "It's always great to beat Stanford, especially twice in a season which has not happened in the four years I've been here. It hasn't set in that we've won the tournament yet, so we're still in shock. It feels great knowing that we are in the tournament."

Junior Kiki Boone (Cherry Hills Village, Colo.) registered a hat trick to go along with her season-high nine draw controls. Additionally, Boone earned three groundballs and a caused turnover.

"Today we came in with a focus on the draw," said Boone. "It was a great team effort. Sonorah Vinyard is awesome to have in the circle with me. It's exciting to win this year with such a great group of girls."

With the win, the Pioneers broke the record for DU's longest winning streak at 16. The previous record of 15 was set last year when Denver finished 18-3.

Prior to the win, Denver had gone 0-6 against Stanford in the MPSF Tournament, including a 0-5 mark in the championship game against the Cardinal. Of DU's five championship appearances against Stanford, four of the losses had come by a single goal, including the last time Denver hosted the MPSF Tournament in 2010, when the Pioneers fell 11-10 on a sudden victory goal in double-overtime on May 2, 2010.

"It's amazing to win today," said Hook. "It's been a long four years to get to this point. I love the fact that we won and did it as a team. Although I got MVP of the tournament, I owe it all to the rest of the team. We still have a lot to learn from today's game. I'm really excited to be playing next weekend, but we still have a lot of work to do."

Denver outshot Stanford 32-28, while placing 23 shots on goal. The Pioneers held a 19-9 advantage in draw controls and edged the Cardinal 19-18 in groundballs. DU successfully converted seven-of-eight clear attempts, while Stanford went 10-of-11 on clears.

The Pioneers started the game strong with a five goal lead against the Cardinal in the opening nine minutes of play. Denver's streak would end when Stanford netted two back-to-back goals starting at the 21:09 mark in the first.

The Crimson and Gold would find the back of the net four-straight times, bringing the score to 9-2 with 8:33 left in the opening half. Denver led at the half 10-5.

DU held on during a late Stanford surge, which saw the Cardinal get on the board in five of the last six goals during the game.

The Pioneer now waits for the NCAA Selection show to see where they will be heading to open the NCAA Tournament, which begins Friday, May 9. The NCAA Selection show will be announced Sunday, May 4 at 7 p.m. MT.

All-MPSF Tournament Team

San Diego State, Vicki Porter

USC, Courtney Tarleton

Oregon, Sami Kiser

Oregon, Nikki Puszcz

Colorado, Paige Soenksen

Colorado, Johnna Fusco

Stanford, Rachel Ozer

Stanford, Hannah Farr

Stanford, Adrienne Anderson

Denver, Meredith Harris

Denver, Jenn Etzel

Denver, Annabelle Gilbride

Denver, Hannah Hook*

* MPSF Tournament MVP

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