DeLand, Fla. – The Oregon women’s lacrosse team came out firing on all cylinders Monday afternoon behind sophomore Carly O’Connell, who scored a game-high five goals, crushing the Hatters 20-3 in DeLand, Fla. Nikki Puszcz scored four goals while Courtney Valdez found the back of the net three times. Hayley Milner and Holly Johnson each chipped in with two goals.
“After a challenging travel schedule with the weather we had in Eugene, I was just super proud of how the team executed from the start,” head coach Jen Beck said.
With her ninth assist of the game to Valdez at the 15:51 mark in the second period, Shannon Propst became Oregon’s leader in career assists surpassing Kristina Barrett’s (2009-12) record of 78. The senior from Bel Air, Md., also blew past Oregon’s single-game assists record (6) set by Alison Leiner on March 3, 2006, against St. Mary’s.
Propst's nine assists also tied her for the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation's single-game assists record set by Jill Remenapp of Denver last year, while her 10 points was sixth all-time in the MPSF for a single-game.
“As much as I was excited for Shannon for breaking the record, I was more proud of the production we had as an entire crew today.” Beck said.
When asked about her record-breaking performance, Propst said, "I have to give my teammates all the credit because they were the ones getting open and finishing the shots."
O’Connell got the UO offense rolling taking the draw control in the opening faceoff and scored just 32 seconds into the contest. Her goal was just 10 seconds shy of tying the school record for quickest goal.
“She just loves to play lacrosse,” said Beck, when asked about O’Connell. “She just dominates the draws and makes play on both ends of the field for us.”
“I knew we were all anxious and excited to get the season started,” O’Connell said. “We just went out trying to make the connections we knew we could make and took risks knowing we had each other’s backs.”
The Ducks were on a 10-0 run before Stetson fired in two goals in the final two minutes to make it 12-2, heading into the break.
As well as Oregon was playing on the offensive end of the field, its defense was just as impressive blanking the Hatters until Jill Chiachetti put Stetson on the board with 2:13 remaining in the first half.
The Ducks outshot the Hatters 24-2 in the first half alone and finished the game outshooting SU by a total of 39-6.
Rachel Steinberg scored her first collegiate goal at the 20:06 mark in the second half on a pass from Sami Kiser. The freshman also dished out her first-career assist when Puszcz found the back of the net with nine seconds remaining. Kathryn Blumhardt also saw her first action in an Oregon uniform in the second half.
The Ducks wrap up their two-game road trip to the Sunshine State on Tuesday, Feb. 11, at 8:30 a.m. (PST) in a neutral site match against Coastal Carolina in Jacksonville, Fla.