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Ducks (4-1) Battle No. 2 Florida (10-0) Saturday at Papé Field
Release Date: 03/12/2013
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The Oregon Ducks (4-1, 0-0 MPSF) host the second-ranked Florida Gators (10-0, 0-0 ALC) on Saturday afternoon at Papé Field.  Match time is slated for 1 p.m. 

Florida is the highest-ranked opponent the Ducks have faced since they traveled to Evanston, Ill., to play No. 1 Northwestern a season ago.  In addition, the Gators are the highest-ranked team to travel to Eugene since April 15, 2011, when the Ducks hosted No. 7 Stanford.

Oregon enters Saturday’s showdown with Florida on a four-game winning streak.  The Ducks won their third one-goal match of the season on March 8 when they defeated Davidson, 7-6.  Oregon senior Kate Cathell scored three goals in the win. It was her third hat-trick of the season.

The Ducks and Gators have met just once previously.  On March 30, 2010, Florida defeated Oregon, 16-6, in Gainesville, Fla.  Four active players started for Oregon that day (Dominique Christiansen, Maggie Kovacs, Bridget Morrison, Salliebeth Finnegan) but none recorded a point.  Finnegan started in goal for the Ducks.

The Oregon Ducks are 3-7 against teams from the American Lacrosse Conference.  Their last win over an ALC team came on March 15, 2009 in a 12-10 triumph over Johns Hopkins at Autzen Stadium in Eugene.  Oregon has also beaten Ohio University twice, fallen to Johns Hopkins four times, dropped two decisions to Northwestern and lost the only meeting with Florida.

DUCKS CLIMB THE NATIONAL CHARTS                               
Oregon is ranked in the top-50 nationally in four team categories.  In addition, junior Shannon Propst, sophomore Casey Brogan and senior Salliebeth Finnegan are rising up the national charts as well.  As a team, Oregon enters the Florida game in a tie for 10th in scoring defense (7.6 gpg), a tie for 17th in winning percentage (.800), 24th in caused turnovers (9.6 per game) and 34th in scoring margin (+2.6 per game).

Individually, Finnegan ranks 10th in the country in goals against average (7.67), Propst sits in a tie for 24th and tie for 27th in assists (10) and assists per game (2.0), respectively, and Brogan is in a 37th-place tie in the caused turnover category (7).  

Oregon senior attack Kate Cathell scored three goals in the Ducks’ 7-6 victory over Davidson on March 8.  It was the third time Cathell scored at least three goals in a game this season.  She scored a career-high four goals against Cincinnati on Feb. 24 and three against Vermont on March 4 as well.  Cathell is tied for the team-lead in total points (17) and leads the Ducks in goals scored (11) this season.

KISER SCORES GAME-WINNER AGAINST DAVIDSON                                  
Duck junior midfielder Sami Kiser scored two goals in Oregon’s triumph over Davidson on March 8.  The second of the two goals broke a 6-6 tie with 11:14 remaining.  The Oregon defense held on to the one-goal edge for the rest of the game and Kiser was credited with her first game-winning goal of the season.  Through five games, Kiser has scored five goals, dished out one assist and tallied six total points.

Senior Bridget Morrison scooped up three ground balls in Oregon’s 7-6 victory over Davidson on March 8 to give her 86 career ground balls and move her past Colleen Taggart (83) for eighth all-time on Oregon’s career ground balls list.  Morrison leads the Ducks with 10 ground balls this season and is just eighth away from catching Anna Poponyak, who picked up 94 ground balls from 2005-09, for seventh all-time.

PROPST NOW JUST ONE POINT SHY OF ALL-TIME TOP-10                                  
Junior midfielder Shannon Propst tied her career-high by registering three assists on March 8 against Davidson.  As a result, the three points moved her to within one point of the top-10 on Oregon’s all-time points list.  Propst enters the Florida game 11th all-time with 97 points; Alison Leiner, who played from 2005-07, is in 10th with 98 career points.  Propst has scored 56 career goals, which ranks 12th all-time, and has 41 career assists (seventh all-time).  Her 10 assists this season leads the team, ranks in a 24th-place tie nationally, and is just 23 shy of Oregon’s all-time single-season record (33) set by Leiner in 2006.

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.

OREGON PROTECTS THE BALL IN WIN OVER DAVIDSON                                
The Oregon Ducks committed a season-low six turnovers in their 7-6 win over Davidson on March 8.  It marked the first time the Ducks turned the ball over less than 10 times in a game since April 8, 2012, when they committed just nine turnovers against UC Davis.

DUCKS WIN FIRST OVERTIME GAME SINCE 2008                       
Oregon’s 14-13 triple-overtime triumph over Vermont on March 4 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 Davidson gave the Ducks their third-straight victory in a one-goal match this season.  The Ducks are 3-1 in one-goal games in 2013 and have already surpassed the number of one-goal games that they played in all of 2012.  The school record for one-goal matches in a single-season is 10, set by the 2008 team.  Oregon is 18-14 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.  

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. 

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. 

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 Florida match with 74 career draw controls after grabbing one more against Davidson on March 8.

DUCK LACROSSE ALL-TIME IN MARCH                                         
Oregon is now 35-28 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 beat again on March 8 in Eugene.

OREGON ALL-TIME VS. RANKED OPPONENTS                                        
Oregon is just 3-27 all-time against ranked opponents.  Two of the Ducks’ three wins against ranked opponents came during the 2008 season when they knocked off 18th-ranked Richmond on the road and 11th-ranked Notre Dame on the road.  Oregon’s other victory over a ranked team came in the 2007 season-opener, when the Ducks beat No. 16 Stanford, 10-6, at Papé Field.

OREGON ALL-TIME VS. NON-RANKED OPPONENTS                                      
Oregon’s win over Davidson moved its all-time record against non-ranked teams to 83-38, good enough for a 0.686 winning percentage.  The games against Davidson was 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 14 saves in wins over Vermont and Davidson to move her season record to 3-0 and bring her career total to 14.

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 38 goals the entire season (7.6 goals per game).  Last year, the Ducks gave up nearly 9.5 goals per game.

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 86-65 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.

Oregon’s match against USC 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 game.  The match 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 USC.  The Pac-12 also added the April 7 game against California to its schedule of televised events on the Pac-12 Networks.  Game time is slated for 1 p.m. (PT).

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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