STANFORD, Calif.- The University of Oregon lacrosse team (13-4, 8-0 MPSF) advanced to only their second Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championship match in program history with a 14-11 victory over California (8-8, 4-3 MPSF) on Friday night at Cagan Stadium in Stanford, Calif.
With the win, the Ducks face the Cardinal, who took care of Denver, 12-9 in the later match.
The Golden Bears raced out to a 1-0 lead in the early minutes of the match, but senior Jess Drummond evened the match up following a save by sophomore Caroline Federighi.
Back-to-back free position strikes by sophomore Nikki Puszcz and Je. Drummond put Oregon ahead 3-1, but a free position goal by Cal's Gaby Christman brought the match back to a 3-2 tally with only seven minutes of action gone.
The teams traded goals, but Cal's Amelia Burke tied the match up for the second time to a score of 4-4.
Oregon tried to put some distance between the two squads as they scored three unanswered goals, bringing the match to 7-4.
Alexa Rozelle was able to get one of the goals back at the 10:15 mark, but UO once again had an answer after sophomore Shannon Propst hit Je. Drummond for Oregon's eight goal of the half.
Christman tacked on one more goal for Cal, but Oregon held the 8-6 advantage after 30 minutes of action.
The Ducks came out aggressive at the start of the second half and following a foul by Rozelle, Oregon was able to capitalize and have senior Colleen Taggart find sophomore Hayley Milner for UO's first match of the half, but ninth of the match, granting them a 9-6 lead.
Oregon went on another run, finding the back of the net four straight times, grasping what was thought to be a comfortable 13-7 upper hand with 11:21 left in the match.
The Golden Bears went on a run of their own tallying goals by Christman, Rozelle and Melissa Humphrey, setting the match at 13-10 with 4:10 left and causing the Ducks to take a timeout to talk strategy.
Cal secured the draw control out of the timeout and four Ducks committed fouls out of the gates, but Paige Gasparino was allowed to break through to get unsuccessful shot off. The Golden Bears recovered the ball and went right back at Federighi, but this time Rozelle broke through, bringing her squad within two goals, 13-11.
Je. Drummond earned the draw control on the next possession and after she was fouled by Christman with 1:48 left, senior Kristina Barrett made the pass back to Je. Drummond for what was the match's last goal.
Je. Drummond finished the match with a career-high six goals and one assist for a career and match-high seven points. Puszcz and Milner were responsible for hat tricks while Propst added two for all of Oregon's goals. Barrett contributed two assists in the match.
Despite not scoring a point, senior Jana Drummond recorded six draw controls, collected four groundballs and caused two turnovers.
Federighi (13-3) played all 60 minutes in goal to notch the win behind five saves.
Rozelle led the Golden Bears with four goals.
Megan McGinnis (8-8) took the loss with two saves.
Oregon and Stanford face each other on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Cagan Stadium in Stanford, Calif. for the MPSF Championship. In last year's championship match, the Cardinal got the best of the Ducks, 12-10.
Fans can head to www.GoDucks.com for live stats of the match between the Ducks and the Cardinal.
The winner of the MPSF Tournament hosts the NCAA play-in match on May 5 at 1 p.m.
NEWS AND NOTES
Fans can follow the MPSF (@MPSF_WLaxChamps) for updates from throughout the tournament...Jess Drummond notched a career-high six goals and added an assist for a career-high seven points...Je. Drummond also caused a career-high four turnovers for the second time this season and third time in her career...Colleen Taggart recorded her first assist and point of the season...The point for Taggart is her first since last season's match with the Cardinal...Caroline Federighi has 119 saves in goal for the season and 206 career saves, one shy of tying Salliebeth Finnegan, who is second all-time with...With two assists against Cal, Kristina Barrett (76) took over first overall in the assists top-five from Theresa Waldron (2005-08), who had 75...Jana Drummond moved into fourth in the single-season top-five with 49 draw controls on the season.