Our women’s lacrosse team is rolling into the end of their season with monumental success. Last week freshman Carly O’Connell was awarded the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Rookie of the Week and junior Shannon Propst set a new career record of five goals in one game against Fresno State. The Ducks ended their match on Wednesday against the Bulldogs with a ten-goal lead (18-8) in preparing well for their final home game against the Saint Mary’s Gaels. This game honored the six seniors: Kate Cathell, Dominique Christiansen, Sallibeth Finnegan, Ashley Inman, Maggie Kovacs, and Bridget Morrison.
Carly O’Connell started off the Ducks with a free position goal in less than two minutes off the first draw, however Saint Mary’s found their own luck in a free position shot of their own and tied up the game. This didn’t faze our Ducks as they got two more in the net. Then, senior Ashley Inman got a shot off with her left hand into the top left corner; her gameplay confidence adding to Oregon’s spunk and charisma on the field (4-1). Only halfway through the first period the Ducks’ dominance was incontestable, as they kept racking up the points against the Gaels. On offense, Shannon Propst was past the goal when she did a spin move, allowing her to make a clean pass to Casey Brogan who had a perfect shot from inside the circle. The rest of the offense also drew away their defenders, aiding the set up of this impeccable play (6-1).
Despite the score Saint Mary’s did not give in and continued to play their game, getting five goals more for themselves just under Oregon’s additional six. This brought the score to 12-6 going into half time as the infamous Eugene rain started to drop on Papé Field.
Shannon Propst already earned her hat trick in the first half. Nikki Puszcz and Carly O’Connell both won five draw controls contributing to Oregon’s dominance in possession with a total of 13 DC’s over Saint Mary’s 6. The seniors were exhibiting the skills they learned over their past four years playing for Oregon at today’s match. When the Ducks underclassmen were on the field, they also amplified their talents in a way of showing their beloved seniors that they will carry on the Ducks’ successes in future seasons.
When Oregon was up by more than double the Gaels’ score (15-7) in the second half, Saint Mary’s continued to pressure Oregon defense by executing a similar structure to our familiar Oregon offense. They did do with three players grouped together at the top of the twelve, and cut players on the the sides and behind the goal. This proved successful for them, earning another point (15-8) but they did not stop Oregon from continuing their victory for the last ten minutes on this last home game at Papé Field. Hayley Milner then scored two consecutive goals. For one of these goals, Milner charged through Saint Mary’s defense from outside the twelve meter, scoring and unassisted goal and reinstituting the intense momentum for the Ducks.
Freshman Holly Johnson got her first career goal at Oregon (18-8). With the clock running at less than five minutes, Saint Mary’s gave their final attempts at goal but Caroline Federighi prevailed and saved both of the shots. Carly O’Connell broke Jen May’s school record of 8 draw controls with ten of her own. Coach Jen Larsen noted to the media how “you get a lot of momentum when you start with possession,” as these draw controls were a main contributor to the Ducks success this afternoon. Oregon ended the game with a season high of 19 goals to Saint Mary’s 9.