Last-Second Heroics Lift Lacrosse Over Card

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Down by a goal.

Five ticks on the clock.

The Bears were seemingly doomed to yet another loss to their cross-Bay rivals.

But although the Cal women's lacrosse team was down with minimal time for a goal, Bears coach Jill Malko knew her team hadn't given up.

"I was feeling a projecting air of confidence," Malko said after her team's 8-7 win over Stanford Saturday at Memorial Stadium. "I looked at the field and there weren't any heads down."

Indeed, there was one head that would make a lightening-quick decision that changed the course of the game.

After sophomore midfielder Laura Kado's missed desparation shot deep in Cardinal territory, Carrie Scribner would be set up for the unexpected.

The senior defenseman scooped up the mess near the goal and amid traffic, managed to force the ball into the net to tie the score for at seven with only three seconds remaining in Cal's (11-5, 5-2 in the Western Women's Lacrosse League) showdown with Stanford (11-10, 5-3).

In overtime, it was Scribner again providing timely offense. Off a stoppage of play resulting from a foul, Scribner drove the lane from the eight-meter hash mark with only 26 seconds remaining and found the back of the net high above the left shoulder of Cardinal goalie Racheal Neuman to give the Bears the victory.

"A shot coming at you with 27 seconds left in overtime is every goalie's worst nightmare," Neuman said.

Scribner's second goal provided a dramatic ending to a thriller of a game between these fiercest of rivals.

"I gained a few gray hairs this game," Malko admitted.

Meanwhile, the Stanford defense was harassed by the unlikeliest of offensive performers.

"Usually the other team doesn't expect your low-defense player to take the attack," Malko said. "Carrie took advantage of that opportunity."

Leading, 6-3, in the second half, Cal appeared to be handily on its way to victory, but four consecutive goals by the Cardinal gave Stanford a 7-6 lead.

The last goal came off a high-speed fast break that silenced the home crowd and gave the Card its only lead of the game with only 44 seconds left on the clock. The stage was set for the first of Scribner's clutch goals.

"She recognized with five seconds left, she's gotta take a shot," Malko said. "She faked to the outside, switched back to the middle, shot (and) scored."

Scribner admitted that the didn't have much time to plan the attack.

"With five seconds left, you really don't have time to set it up or really think," Scribner said. "You just react and try to score."

Scribner's reaction was just what the situation called for, according to her coach.

"Whether it's offense or defense, Carrie makes the best decisions consistently," Malko said. "I think she's our smartest player out there."

Malko would go on to praise the stable psyche of her players.

"This is the toughest team mentally that I've ever had - and the youngest - which is an unusual combination," Malko said.


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