EUGENE – With finals out of the way, the Oregon women’s lacrosse team plays host to Presbyterian at noon on Saturday, March 22, at Papé Field before hitting the road to Ohio for a pair of road matches. Saturday’s matchup will be the first match up between the two schools.

Senior Shannon Propst has dished out an assist every game so far this season and is tied with Carly O’Connell for most assists with 18. Propst narrowly leads O’Connell in the points category by one point, 32-to-31, with the difference being one goal. Fellow senior Nikki Puszcz leads all scorers with 17 goals on the year to go along with her 16 draw controls, second only to O’Connell who has a team-high 31 draw controls.

Kathryn Blumhardt, Lauren Drake, Becca Katzen, Annie Longtain, Erin Schilmoeller and Natalie Simpson all saw action for the first time at the collegiate level and as Duck over the weekend.

BLUE HOSE MARCH TO TOWN
The Ducks wrap up their three-game homestand with Presbyterian at noon on Saturday, March 22, at Papé Field before hitting the road for a pair of games in Ohio. The Blue Hose come into the match with a 3-3 mark and 1-0 road record.

Catherine Ellis leads PC with a team-high 25 goals to go along with five assist for a team-leading 30 points. The Blue Hose are also led by Maddie Seiloff (15 goals) who has 21 points, Brianne Ward (14 goals) who has 27 points and Margaret Richardson (11 goals) who has 15 points.

Ellis was recently named the Big South’s Women’s Lacrosse Offensive Player of the Week, her second of the 2014 season. She earned the nod after firing in a hat-trick against George Mason and a team-high seven goals against Kennesaw State to curb the Blue Hose’s three-game losing skid.

In the crease for PC is Tay Lyles who is 2-1 on the year with a 15.10 goals against average and 34 saves. On the defensive end, Bonnie Corrigan and Maura Talvacchia leads Presbyterian with 16 caused turnovers each, while Liz Bedell has 12. Corrigan also leads the team with 26 ground balls on the year.

LAST TIME OUT
Oregon split a pair of home games last weekend at Papé Field, dropping its home-opener to UConn, 10-8, while rebounding the following day with an 18-3 thumping of Fresno State in the Ducks’ conference-opener.

The Ducks’ had their home-opener spoiled by Connecticut after the Huskies erased Oregon’s 5-2 lead at the half, and erupted for eight goals in the second half to UO’s three to earn the win, 10-8. The Ducks tied things up at 8-8 with 10:52 remaining on Casey Brogan’s goal in the second half, but weren’t able to convert on a few opportunities in the 8-meter fan.

In its conference-opening match, Oregon went off on Fresno State. The Ducks held the Bulldogs scoreless for 45:40 minutes before the ‘Dogs were able to find the back of the net deep into the second half at the 14:20 mark. In that same time span, Oregon went on a 16-0 run.

DUCKS IN THE NATION
Heading into this week’s competition, senior Shannon Propst is fifth in the nation with 3.00 assists per game. Sophomore Carly O’Connell is right behind with a 2.83 average, good for sixth in the nation. Through six games, Propst is in seventh with 5.33 points per game while O’Connell is tied for ninth with a 5.00 average. O’Connell is also in 15th-place for draw controls with a 5.17 average.

AROUND THE FEDERATION
Through last week’s games, Oregon and many of its players still hold top spots in multiple statistical categories in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. Shannon Propst still holds the top spot with 5.33 points per game while teammate Carly O’Connell is right behind – in second – with 5.00 points per game.

Propst (3.00) and O’Connell (2.83) also stand in second and third, respectively, in assists per game with just .27 of a point difference between the two. O’Connell is second in the conference in draw controls with a 5.17 average and a total of 31 on the year. The Southborough, Mass., native is also fourth in the MPSF with a 1.83 average in caused turnovers.

In the crease, Caroline Federighi is third in the goals against average category with 9.19 in 261:07 minutes of action.

As a team the Ducks are second in goals per game (15.17) while leading in ground balls per game (18.17), assists per game (9.17) and points per game (24.33).

PROPST ETCHES NAME INTO OREGON HISTORY
The senior eclipsed the Oregon all-time career assist record of 78 in the season opener, dishing out nine assists in the 20-3 win over Stetson. Propst tacked on two more assists in the Ducks’ win over Coastal Carolina to finish with 11 assists through two games, and 81 in her career at Oregon. The fallen record of 78 was held by Kristina Barrett who played from 2009-12.

Propst’s nine assists also broke the eight-year old single-game assist record for Oregon (6) set by Alison Leiner in 2006 and tied the MPSF single-game assist record set by Jill Remenapp of Denver last season. Propst’s 10 points against Stetson also broke the single-game record at Oregon while tying her for sixth all-time on the MPSF all-time single-game points list.

The following day against Coastal Carolina, the senior attack also displayed her offensive capabilities, tying the game-high with four goals in Oregon’s 23-3 victory over the Chants.

PROPST NAMED OFFENSIVE POW
Oregon senior attacker Shannon Propst earned the first Offensive Player of the Week honors of the 2014 season as announced by the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation office Monday, Feb. 17. This is the third player of the week award for Propst, who earned it twice before, once during her junior campaign and once during her sophomore year.

Propst was tabbed the MPSF Offensive Player of Week after she scored five goals with 11 assists and 16 points her first two games. The Bel Air, Md., native was also 5-of-6 shooting from the field (.833), including a perfect shots on goal percentage and went 2-for-2 in free position opportunities to go along with her 3 ground balls.

IN THE POLLS
The preseason coaches’ poll released by the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation had Oregon slated to finish fourth in league play receiving 53 points. Stanford was picked to finish first, garnering 78 points and seven first-place votes, with Denver right behind the Cardinal with 74 points and a pair of first-place votes. USC finished ahead of Oregon with 66 points while garnering one first-place vote.

DUCKS ON TV
Oregon will have a pair of its games broadcasted on the Pac-12 Networks this season. The first of which will be the Ducks’ first road conference match in Berkeley, Calif., against the California Golden Bears on Apr. 3 at 7 p.m. Eight days later, UO will have its match against Stanford, last year’s conference tournament champions, televised from Papé Field on Friday, Apr. 11, at 5 p.m.

DUCKS RELOAD FOR 2014 SEASON
Having lost six seniors to graduation, two of which were starters, head coach Jen Beck reloaded the Ducks’ roster with eight standouts from across the United States. Three hailed from the state of Maryland, two from Colorado, and one each from Massachusetts, Oregon and California.

Beck signed a pair of goalies in Jan Parker and Becca Katzen. Parker hails from Danvers, Mass., where she led The Williston Northampton School to three Northeastern Conference championships earning NEC MVP honors her sophomore and junior seasons. Katzen prepped at Dulaney High School where she split time with two other goalies.

The remaining six signees come to Oregon at the midfield position. Annie Longtain, the lone Oregon signee, led West Linn High School to a runner-up finish in 2012 and a third third-place finish in 2011 at the state tournament.

Bella Pyne joined older sister Olivia at Oregon boasting a resume that includes South River High School’s first state championship in 2010. Pyne also earned multiple all-county and all-league honors during her prep career.

Rachel Steinberg was an Under Armour All-American and Maximum Exposure All-Star. Steinberg led the Severn School in ground balls, draw controls and caused turnovers her season year.

Kathryn Blumhardt, a Regis Jesuit High School grad, earned all-state honorable mention as well as second-team all-league honors to go along with her academic All-America honors and first-team all-academic selections.

Erin Schilmoeller joins fellow prep teammate Blumhardt at Oregon for the 2014 season. Schilmoeller earned multiple all-league honors as well as back-to-back academic All-America honors.

Rounding out the list of new Ducks is KiKi Gibson, a Carlsbad, Calif., native that played at La Costa Canyon. Gibson led LCCHS to the California Interscholastic Federation championships in 2012 and was awarded U.S. Lacrosse High School America honors for her efforts. She also earned first-team All-CIF honors her freshman and sophomore years.