EUGENE – After completing their non-conference slate, 4-4, the Oregon women’s lacrosse team now head into conference play with a Pac-12 Networks televised matchup at Cal on Thursday, April 3, at 7 p.m. The Ducks then continue Mountain Pacific Sports Federation play with a noon time tilt against St. Mary’s on Sunday, April 6.
Winners in three of their last four matches, the Ducks look to improve upon their 1-0 record in conference play behind Shannon Propst (20g, 24a, 44pts), Carly O’Connell (18g, 23a, 41pts, 48dc) and Nikki Puszcz (23g, 2, 25pts, 20dc). In the keep, Caroline Federighi has recorded 57 saves on the year with a .483 saves percentage to go along with her 7.67 goals against average. If the senior can hold on to that average, it will best her previous three averages.
Propst has found the back of the net for Oregon in four-straight games with an impressive .714 shooting percentage to along with a blistering .929 shots on goal percentage. Sunday’s game against Cincinnati was the first time this season the Oregon all-time assist leader hasn’t recorded an assist and only the second time in her past 26 games. The only other time Propst didn’t record an assist in the 26-game span was against then-No. 11 Denver last season.
O’Connell, Oregon’s leader in draw controls (48) has won .706 percent of her faceoff. The sophomore is just behind Propst (24) in the assist category with 23 on the season and has dished out at least one assist every game in 2014.
The Ducks have outscored opponents 133-65 on the year and have only been held under 10 goals three times all year. UO has scored 60.9 percent (81) of its goals in the first half compared to just 38.3 percent (51) in the second half. Oregon has also been unselfish with the ball, dishing out 80 assists as a team compared to its opponents who have only recorded 28 assists on the year.BAY AREA BEARS
Oregon and Cal enters Thursday’s Pac-12 televised match deadlocked at seven games apiece between the two squads. The Ducks are out for revenge after the Golden Bears snapped the Ducks’ three-game win-streak against Cal last season, 14-10, at Papé Field.
Cal heads into the April 3rd match on a four-game skid to go along with its 2-6 mark and 1-2 record at home. The Bears are 1-2 in conference play, losing to San Diego State, 14-11, in double overtime followed by a loss to UC Davis, 8-7. Cal’s lone conference came in its first match of the year against St. Mary’s, 20-14.
The Golden Bears dropped all three road matches last week, falling to La Salle (10-6), LeHigh (9-7) and Yale (17-6) by a combined total of 36-19. Cal opponents are a shooting 52.4 percent from the field to go along with an .800 shots on goal percentage.
Bella Huther, Gaby Christman and Page Gasparino lead the Golden Bears with 21 points each while Huther leads the team with 21 goals. Christman is second on the team with 17 goals while Gasparino and Amedilia Burke have 14 goals apiece while Lizz Lavie (12) and Nicole Beck (10) lead Cal in the assist column.
Christman also leads Cal with 29 draw controls while Caroline Shlegel is second with 23 draw controls, and Burke ranks third on the team with 16.
SCOUTING THE GAELS
St. Mary’s has struggled this season, entering Sunday’s noon time contest against Oregon 0-7 overall and 0-5 in MPSF play. The Gaels have been outscored by their opponents 130-51 on the year. The Ducks have had success against St. Mary’s since joining the MPSF, winning all 12 meetings between the two schools.
The Gaels are led offensively by Allie DeBruhl (15g, 16pts) and Jaclyn Biggers (12g, 15pts), who are the only two players with double-digit goals, while Rachel Minarovich leads the team in draw controls (40) and is second on the team with 13 groundballs.
Between the pipes for SMC is Sydney Pinello who is 0-6 on the year with a 19.93 goals against average and a .376 saves percentage.
Opponents have outshot St. Mary’s 271-136 with opposition players firing in 211 shots on goal compared to SMC’s 103. As a team the Gaels are shooting just 37.5 percent.
Nikki Puszcz became only the sixth player in program history to record 100 career-goals when she fired in Oregon’s first goal of the day, against No. 18 Ohio State, to tie the game up, 1-1, in the first half. The senior now has 104 career-goals at UO behind a three goal effort against the Buckeyes and two goals against the Bearcats.
The Towson, Md., native is only eight goals shy of surpassing Jana Bradley (2005-08), who has 111 career-goals, to crack the top five in the career-goals leaderboard.
Puszcz, who has 23 goals on the season, is set to surpass her total goals (26) last season and is on pace to break her best single-season goals total (39) that was set during her sophomore campaign.
MOVIN’ ON UP
Senior attacker Shannon Propst’s six points last weekend against No. 18 Ohio State and Cincinnati pushed her to 192 career-points at Oregon and is now only two points shy from breaking Illsa van den Berg’s record of 193 points (2006-09). She is also eight points away from becoming the 10th MPSF player to reach 200 career-points.
The Bel Air, Md., will have two opportunities to break that record this week, with Cal being her first opportunity.
Propst’s three goals on the Ohio trip – two against the Buckeyes and one against the Bearcats – also gave her 98 career-goals. The senior will only need two goals to become only the program’s seventh player to score 100 career-goals, joining teammate Nikki Puszcz.
LAST TIME OUT
Oregon took a split on its Ohio road trip to conclude its non-conference schedule 4-4. The Ducks fought 18th-ranked Ohio State hard to trail just 5-4 heading into the break. However, some miscues on the defensive end led to the Buckeyes’ Katie Chase scoring seven goals to lift Ohio State past Oregon for the 13-9 win.
The Ducks however were able to salvage the second game of their road trip with a 10-5 win over Cincinnati. Oregon used an 8-0 run that lasted 24:38 minutes to defeat the Bearcats Sunday, March 30, afternoon at Gettler Stadium. Senior Sami Kiser led the Ducks with a game-high three goals and one assist on 3-of-4 shooting from the field.
The hat-trick also tied Kiser’s career-high in goals, it’s also the fourth time she has matched that mark in her career.
DUCKS IN THE NATION
Heading into last week’s competition, senior Shannon Propst is third in the nation with 2.67 assists per game with teammate, while Carly O’Connell is in fifth with 2.56 assists per game. Through nine games, Propst is in 10th with 4.89 points per game while O’Connell is tied for 12th with a 4.56 points average. O’Connell is also tied for 11th in draw controls with a 5.33 average.
Senior Caroline Federighi is 14th nationally amongst keepers with a 7.67 goals against average and 16th in saves percentage with a .483 mark.
As a team the Ducks are 10th nationally in scoring offense with 14.78 goals per game and ninth in scoring defense, allowing 7.22 goals per game.
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 4.89 points per game while teammate Carly O’Connell is right behind – in second – with 4.56 points per game.
Propst (2.67) and O’Connell (2.56) also stand in second and third, respectively, in assists per game with just .11 of a point difference between the two. O’Connell is second in the conference in draw controls with a 5.3371 average and a total of 48 on the year. The Southborough, Mass., native is also tied for third in the MPSF with a 1.56 average in caused turnovers.
In the crease, Caroline Federighi is second in the goals against average category with 7.67 in 477:00 minutes of action.
As a team the Ducks are first in several categories, including: goals per game (14.78) and ground balls per game (19.56), assists per game (8.89) and points per game (23.67).
The Ducks also boasts the lowest goals against average as a team (7.14), third in save percentage (.472) and second in caused turnovers per game (10.67).
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.