After an enthralling victory in triple overtime earlier this week, our Oregon Ducks stormed back to Papé field to take on the Davidson Wildcats. Coming into this game, the Ducks have an upper hand, as they won all four of their previous matched against Davidson over the years.
Twelve minutes into the first half, Oregon was up 2-1 when Kate Cathell got an impressive goal by intercepting a goalie pass right outside the 8 meter, and shot it immediately back at the net.
One of Oregon’s strengths is flexibility with their starters and players, and their innate ability to work well with all their teammates on the playing field. The Ducks have been seeing a greater than normal amount of changes in the lineup this season. Some were due to injuries and others were for the sake of giving other players opportunities to use their individual talents and show their strengths. Ducks star Carly O’Connell was out this game due to a concussion but this didn’t hold back the Ducks at all. The plethora of talent and camaraderie on the Oregon lacrosse team is already shining through this season, guaranteeing them a great year.
Compared to the fast paced game against Vermont, the majority of the first half felt quite tranquil. There were moments of excitement, and most of them revolved around the goal scoring. Both teams took time to set up on offense and give everyone touches on the ball before going for a play or to goal. The last five minutes of the first period lifted the excitement at Papé field, as the score was a tight 5-4 in the Ducks favor. Despite holding the ball on offense the whole time the Ducks couldn’t get it past Davidson goalie before the whistle blew.
The Davidson Wildcats came back roaring into the second half and got a quick goal. This relit a fire under in the Ducks, and they retaliated and tied it up at 6-6. The opposing goals were momentum swingers bringing what was once a tranquil lacrosse game in sunny Eugene to an intense battle under the Papé lights. With more than ten minutes left the victory could have fallen in either teams hands, so the game was all about drive.
A surprising statistic with two minutes left in the game was that Davidson triumphed over the Ducks in draw controls, 11-4. This was not reflected whatsoever on the scoreboard like it does in most lacrosse games, because the Ducks maintained more than half of ball possession in gameplay.
Once again the Ducks played in a tight match all the way through the end. A warning was given to the Davidson bench for rowdy behavior as both teams displayed determination for the win. This warning caused a turnover to the Ducks, and despite Davidsons pressure placed on the ball holders, Oregon kept possession all the way until the end of the match giving them another victory in the game books.
When asked about any specific player or area she was happy with after todays game, Coach Jen Larson said “I was really proud of the defense today… Sally Finnegan did a really good job in the goal. Different players at different moments really stepped up.” In regards to the Ducks’ preparation for their big game against number two Florida, coach Larson stated her team is going to take a breather from the nail biters for the rest of the weekend and will be coming back Monday ready to study their opponents and work hard at practice all week.