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Oregon Ducks Seek Fourth-Straight Win On Friday Night Against Davidson
Release Date: 03/06/2013
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Riding a three-game win streak, the Oregon Ducks (3-1) host the Davidson Wildcats (1-2) in their fifth match of the year on Friday evening at Papé Field.  Match time is slated for 5 p.m.  

Oregon knocked off Vermont, 14-13, in triple-overtime on Monday in its second match in three days.  Friday’s game against Davidson, which lost to Vermont, 12-10, on Wednesday in Eugene, is the fifth game of a seven-game homestand to open up the 2013 campaign.

Oregon junior midfielder Nikki Puszcz posted her first hat-trick of the season and scored the game-winning goal, a free position shot, in the third overtime period against Vermont.  Puszcz has scored seven goals and tallied four assists so far for the Ducks in 2013. 

The Ducks are 4-0 all-time against Davidson, but Friday’s match marks the first time the Ducks and Wildcats are playing in Eugene.  The first meeting between the two schools came during Oregon’s first lacrosse season in 2005.  The Ducks came away with a 16-6 victory in Davidson, N.C., that day.  In its last meeting with the Wildcats, Oregon won an 8-4 battle a year ago in Davidson.  The Ducks are 3-0 on the road against the Wildcats; their other win came on March 10, 2006 in a 13-11 victory in Farmville, Va. 

Oregon’s four victories over Davidson came when the Wildcats were members of the National Lacrosse Conference.  Friday’s match is the first meeting between the two schools with Davidson competing in the Big South.  The Ducks are 1-1 all-time against the Big South and both of the matches came against High Point.  Oregon lost its first meeting with High Point but knocked off the Panthers, 7-6, on March 2.

O’CONNELL NAMED MPSF ROOKIE OF THE WEEK                                  
The Mountain Pacific Sports Federation tabbed 
Oregon freshman Carly O’Connell as its Rookie of the Week on Monday night (March 4).  The announcement came just moments after Oregon’s thrilling 14-13 triple-overtime win over Vermont at Papé Field.

O’Connell earned the award thanks to her effort against High Point on Saturday (March 2).  Against the Panthers, O’Connell scored the game-winning goal that broke a 6-6 tie with 4.8 seconds to play.  The goal marked her second of the day.  In addition, O’Connell registered two ground balls, a draw control and three caused turnovers against High Point.

For an encore performance, O’Connell scored a goal with eight seconds left to tie the Vermont game at 13 and send the match into sudden-victory.  She finished the evening with two goals, a career-high five draw controls and a ground ball.

This year, O’Connell ranks fourth on the Ducks in total points (8), is tied for fourth in goals scored (6) and her eight ground balls leads the team.

DUCKS WIN FIRST OVERTIME GAME SINCE 2008                       
Oregon’s 14-13 triple-overtime triumph over Vermont on Monday gave the program its first overtime win since April 18, 2008 when it also beat Vermont, 12-11, on the road.  The Ducks trailed by a goal (13-12) in the final seconds of overtime on Monday before Carly O’Connell picked up a ground ball after a Kate Cathell shot hit the right post and fired the ball into the net.  Nikki Puszcz would win the match with a free position shot in the third overtime.

Oregon’s win over Vermont gave the Ducks their second victory in a one-goal match this season.  The Ducks are 2-1 in one-goal games in 2013 and have already played the same amount of one-goal games that they did in all of 2012.  The school record for one-goal matches in a single-season is 10, set by the 2008 team.  Oregon is 17-14 all-time in one-goal games. A complete list of Oregon’s history in one-goal matches is located in the left side-bar on page 4 of today’s game notes.

Oregon senior Kate Cathell, junior Nikki Puszcz and sophomore Devon Frazer each scored three goals in the Ducks’ 14-13 win over Vermont on March 4.  It was the first time that at least three players scored three goals in a single game since Kristina Barrett (4), Shannon Propst (3) and Puszcz (3) did so in a 16-8 win over Saint Mary’s on April 15, 2012.  In addition, Frazer’s three-goal outburst was a career-high.  

Junior midfielder Shannon Propst dished out two assists in Oregon’s win over Vermont on March 4.  Propst now has 38 career assists.  As a result, Propst passed Jana Drummond, who registered 37 assists from 2009-12, to move into seventh on Oregon’s all-time assist list.

Oregon senior attack Kate Cathell posted her second six-point effort of the season against Vermont on March 4.  Cathell scored three goals, tallied a career-high four assists and the six points matched her career-best that she set earlier this year with a four-goal, two-assist effort against Cincinnati on Feb. 24. 

Sophomore Casey Brogan has grabbed nine out of Oregon’s 44 draw controls (about one out of every five won by the Ducks) this season, which ranks second on the team behind Nikki Puszcz’s 10.  Brogan, who appeared in 16 games last year as a freshman, is already just two draw controls of matching her total from a year ago (11).  Brogan has also scooped up five ground balls (she had one last year) and currently ranks second on the team with six caused turnovers.  Brogan, a native of Annapolis, Md., has appeared in three out of the first four games for the Ducks this season.

Oregon senior defender Bridget Morrison found herself in an unusual situation in the Ducks’ 14-13 victory over Vermont on March 4.  With the game tied at 11, Morrison forced a turnover by Vermont goalie Charlotte Lyons, scooped up the ground ball and floated a 35-yard shot into the net to give the Ducks a 12-11 advantage.  For Morrison, the goal was the second of her career and first since her freshman campaign in 2010. 

In addition, Morrison scooped up a season-high four ground balls to give her 83 for her career and tie her with Colleen Taggart for eighth on Oregon’s all-time ground balls list.

PUSZCZ PASSES MEAD ON DRAW CONTROL LIST                                          
Junior Nikki Puszcz posted 32 draw controls last season to give her 63 for her career and move her into eighth place in Oregon lacrosse history.  She picked up three draw controls in the opener against Dartmouth to move past Cara Mead (64 career) for seventh all-time.  She enters the Davidson match with 73 career draw controls after grabbing three more against Vermont on March 4.

DUCK LACROSSE ALL-TIME IN MARCH                                         
Oregon is now 34-28 all-time in the month of March.  The Ducks posted their best March season in 2009, finishing 6-1.  Oregon also registered six March wins in 2007 (6-4) and 2008 (6-2).  Last season, the Ducks finished 4-2 in March, beating Old Dominion, San Diego State, Marist and Davidson.  Their only losses were to No. 1 Northwestern and High Point.  Oregon wrapped up March 2012 with an 8-4 win on the road over Davidson, which it plays again on March 8 in Eugene.

OREGON ALL-TIME VS. NON-RANKED OPPONENTS                                      
Oregon’s win over Vermont moved its all-time record against non-ranked teams to 82-38, good enough for a 0.683 winning percentage.  Friday’s match against Davidson will be Oregon’s 121st meeting against a non-ranked team in school history.

FINNEGAN STEPS IN TO EARN FIRST WINS SINCE 2011                           
Senior goalkeeper Salliebeth Finnegan was subbed into the High Point game on March 2 with 27 minutes remaining in the first half for injured starter Caroline Federighi.  Finnegan made three saves and scooped up a ground ball over the final 57 minutes to earn her first win since April 17, 2011 when she helped guide Oregon to a 19-7 triumph over UC Davis.  In addition, she tallied five saves and posted a win against Vermont on March 4 to move her season record to 2-0 and bring her career total to 13.

McCOOL ANCHORS STELLAR DUCK DEFENSE                                  
Oregon junior defender Erika McCool picked up three ground balls and forced a turnover against High Point to anchor the Oregon defense.  McCool helped the Ducks hold the Panthers’ top-three scorers to just three goals and Kendyl Gardner, who entered the match with seven goals, scoreless.  Oregon has allowed just 33 goals the entire season (8.25 goals per game).  Last year, the Ducks gave up nearly 9.5 goals per game.

SECOND HALF PROVING TO BE KIND TO OREGON IN 2013                            
Oregon has scored 25 of its 44 goals this season in the second half (6.25 second half goals per game).  On Saturday, the Ducks trailed Vermont 7-6 at the break before sending the game into overtime with six second-half goals.  In addition, Oregon has taken 24 more shots in the second half than its opponents (51-27).

Oregon’s first victory of the season — a convincing 16-5 win over Cincinnati on Feb. 24 — was fueled by senior Kate Cathell, who scored a career-high four goals, dished out two assists and ended the game with a team and career-high six points.  Cathell’s previous best in goals was two, which she also posted against Cincinnati in 2012.

The Oregon women’s lacrosse team was picked second in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) Preseason Coaches’ Poll released on Jan. 25.  The Ducks tallied 55 total points, including three first-place votes, and fell just four point shy of Stanford, the preseason conference favorite.  Oregon returns 18 players from its 2012 team that won the MPSF regular season and tournament championships and advanced to the NCAA Play-In Match last May.  The Ducks finished the 2012 campaign 14-5 overall and a perfect 7-0 in conference play.  It was their first conference championship in school history.

HOME COOKIN’                                                                             
The Ducks open up their 2013 season with seven straight games at home in Eugene.  Oregon put together a perfect 5-0 home regular season — its best regular season finish since 2007 (6-0) — before dropping the NCAA Play-In Match to Navy, 10-9, at Papé Field.  The 5-1 overall finish at home was the best home record since 2009 (6-1).  

Oregon head coach Jen Larsen Beck is the program’s first and only lacrosse coach.  She has led the Ducks to an 85-65 record in her eight-plus years at the helm of the Oregon lacrosse program.  A complete list of Larsen Beck’s (and the Ducks’) series records against all opponents is listed on page 6 of today’s game notes.

Junior goalie Caroline Federighi put together an impressive sophomore campaign a season ago.  Federighi, a native of Pleasanton, Calif., ranked in the top-40 nationally in four different categories, including save percentage (2nd, .502), goals against average (14th, 9.15 gaa), saves (25th, 141 saves) and saves per game (39th, 7.42 spg).  Federighi started all 19 games for Oregon a season ago and logged 917:33 total minutes.  She finished the 2012 season with a 14-4 overall record to lead the Ducks.

The Oregon lacrosse program witnessed its most successful season in school history last year, finishing 14-5 overall and capturing the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation regular season (7-0) and tournament championships.  Oregon advanced to the NCAA Play-In Match last May where it fell, 10-9, to Navy in overtime. The 2012 Ducks placed in the top-50 in the nation in six different categories.  Oregon ranked 13th in winning percentage (.737) and 16th in both total points (347) and scoring margin (2.95).  In addition, the Ducks finished 17th in scoring defense (9.47 goals per game), 28th in scoring offense (12.42 goals per game) and 41st in caused turnovers (141).

Oregon’s match against USC in Eugene on April 4 will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks at 4:30 p.m. (PT).  The match will mark the Ducks’ 11th contest of the season and second Mountain Pacific Sports Federation matchup of the season.  The meeting will be the first-ever meeting between the two schools; the 2013 season marks the first season of women’s lacrosse in the history of the University of Southern California.

The Ducks play 10 home games at Papé Field during the 2013 regular season, including seven straight to open up the year.  It is the first time that Oregon has opened its season at home since the 2011 campaign, when it lost to No. 20 Hofstra in overtime.  Six of Oregon’s first seven home games are non-conference games; two of the six non-MPSF games are against opponents ranked in the top-15 in the IWLCA Preseason Coaches’ Poll.  The Ducks played No. 12 Dartmouth in the first match of the season and No. 2 Florida, which advanced to last year’s NCAA Final Four, comes to Eugene on March 16.  Oregon’s first conference match is slated for March 22 against San Diego State in Eugene.

Following the seven-match homestand, Oregon hits the road for three matches in six days from March 24-30.  On March 24, Oregon plays Marist in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., March 26 will see the Ducks play Connecticut for the first time in school history and a March 30 date at Old Dominion wraps up the road trip.  Oregon returns home to Eugene on April 4 for its first-ever meeting with USC, a match that will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks.  The USC match is the first of seven MPSF contests to conclude the regular season.  On May 2 and 4, Oregon will host the 2013 MPSF Lacrosse Tournament, featuring the top-four regular season finishers in the conference.  The Ducks won last year’s MPSF Tournament championship. 
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