EUGENE, Ore. – The Oregon women’s lacrosse team saw its season come to an end Friday evening at Pater Barton Lacrosse Stadium, falling to the No. 1-seed Denver Pioneers 18-9. Senior Sami Kiser led UO with a team-high three goals, tying her career-high for the fifth time, while senior Nikki Puszcz and sophomore Carly O'Connell chipped in with two goals each.
Oregon (11-8) is now 1-5 all-time playing in the semifinal match of the MPSF Tournament and 1-5 all-time when playing at Denver. Oregon’s only win in the Mile High City was back in April of 2009 when the Ducks downed the Pioneers 11-9.
The 18 goals UO surrendered Friday evening was the most this season. The last time the Ducks gave up 18 goals was back in April of 2011 when No. 7 Stanford defeated Oregon, 18-13, at Papé Field.
Oregon dug itself a huge hole in the first half when Denver (17-1) came out of the gates with a blitzkrieg, pounding the Ducks with eight-straight goals. The Pioneers also held the Ducks scoreless for 20:21 minutes before Puszcz found the back of the net at the 9:39 mark in the first half.
UO finished out the rest of the half with a 3-0 run, but still trailed DU, 8-3, heading into the break.
Caroline Federighi was relieved from her post in the cage less than 12 minutes into the game, giving way to sophomore Jenna Morris. Federighi would sub back in once more in the second half, but Morris finished the game with five saves in 46:10 minutes of action as both goalies gave up nine goals.
The closest Oregon got to Denver was at the 27:38 mark of the second half when O’Connell netted her second goal of the evening to bring the Ducks within 9-5. The quick run by UO was short-lived however as Denver responded with four goals in just 2:30.
The Ducks continued to claw at DU’s lead in the second half, netting a pair of goals within 29 seconds behind Devon Frazer and Puszcz to cut it to 13-7 with 19:27 left to play in the game.
Kiser tallied her hat-trick with 15:33 left to play, bringing it to 14-8, after the Pioneer’s Christa Reese found the back of the cage for the second time.
Denver finished out the last 10 minutes of the game with a 4-1 run, and moves on to the MPSF Championship match on Sunday at 10 a.m. (PDT) against the winner between Stanford and Colorado.
POST-GAME NOTES: Oregon has now finished the season with 10-plus wins in seven of its 10 seasons…The 18 goals was the most Oregon has given up since 2011 when UO gave up 18 goals on April 15 when the seventh-ranked Stanford Cardinal defeated Oregon, 18-13…The Ducks are now 1-6 all-time playing in the semifinal match of the MPSF Tournament…UO is now 1-5 all-time when playing in the Mile High City…Its only win came in April of 2009 when UO defeated DU 11-9…Oregon is only 1-3 against the Pioneers when playing in the conference tournament.