EUGENE – The Oregon women's lacrosse team split its two-game homestand after the Ducks defeated UC Davis, 8-4, in a very physical match at Papé Field Sunday afternoon.
The Aggies were called for 28 fouls compared to UO, who was charged with 19 fouls. UCD however was called for eight yellow cards, three of which came within 20 seconds of one another, with a less than a minute left to play.
“I think that we were definitely tested with an aggressive UC Davis team,” said head coach Jen Beck. “I was pleased with how poised they were today. I think that we did a good job defensively, coming up with more 50/50 balls and more draw controls.”
Oregon (8-5, 4-1 MPSF) now inches closer to its return to the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Tournament with the win over UC Davis (6-7, 1-5 MPSF) after missing out on the tournament last season.
The Oregon offense took care of business in the first half, netting seven goals against the Aggie keeper, but the one goal of the game belonged to the birthday girl, Sami Kiser.
With eight second left in the first half, UC Davis' Mary Doyle turned it over on an errant pass that was picked up by Shannon Propst. Propst then promptly sent it to Carly O'Connell who found Kiser racing down the field. Kiser then laced a shot past Jordan Majka of UCD just as the clock hit zero – for her second goal of the day – to give Oregon the 7-2 lead heading into the break.
The second half saw a lot less scoring but was a bit more physical, with six of UC Davis' eight yellow cards coming in that half.
“I'm still looking for more of a flow to the offense, that happened more so in the first half than the second half,” Beck said. “I just want to make sure we get 60 minutes together”
Just like how they started the game, Propst and O'Connell connected for another goal at the 24:51 mark to push the UO's lead to 8-2. The goal from O'Connell extended her scoring streak to five, keeping pace with Kiser.
The Aggies' Doyle was able to score on a free-position shot about three minutes later before a scoring drought for both teams ensued.
Courtney Neff netted another goal for UC Davis with 9:20 left in the game to cut the lead in half, 8-4, but neither team would find the back of the cage after Neff's goal as Oregon held on for the win.
O'Connell, Kiser and Bella Pyne led the Ducks with two goals each while Casey Brogan and Devon Frazer each chipped in with one while Caroline Federighi recorded five saves in the win.
With the MPSF race coming down to the wire, with Denver being the only team to have clinched a spot in the tournament, Oregon's road trip next weekend will be crucial.
The Ducks' SoCal trip will first begin in Los Angeles, Calif., where UO will face USC at home for the first time ever on Friday, April 18, at 4 p.m. (PT). UO will then head further south to San Diego, Calif., to face off against San Diego State on Sunday, April 20, at 1 p.m. (PT).
“USC is a great team and they just went 0-2 against Colorado and Denver this weekend, so they'll be really itching to take us down,” Beck said. “It's going to be a great battle. It's the first time we've ever been USC so it's a lot of new, but I have to get them fired up and prepared to hold them (USC) defensively and for us to execute offensively.”