EUGENE – After splitting a pair of games at home this past weekend, the Oregon women’s lacrosse team will fly south to Southern California for a pair of important conference road matches at USC and San Diego State.
UO is set to take on the Women of Troy at 4 p.m. on Friday, April 18, at McAlister Field. The Ducks then wrap up their last road trip of the year with the Aztecs at 1 p.m. on Sunday, April 20, at the Aztec Lacrosse Field. Oregon are winners in four of their last five contests heading into this weekend’s matchups.
Heading into this weekend’s matchup, the Ducks are 4-1 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation and can punch their ticket and return to the MPSF Tournament if Oregon sweeps USC and SDSU over the weekend. UO can also secure a spot in the tournament with one win over the weekend coupled with a Cal loss.
CITY OF TROY
On Friday, April 18, the Ducks will make their first appearance at McAlister Field as they take on USC. Friday’s matchup will serve as the second time the two squads have faced one another. USC is only in its second year as a program and is led by Lindsey Munday who is a member of the USA Women’s National Team.
The Trojans will be hungry when they face off against the Ducks having lost both of their matches in the Rockies, first to Colorado in double overtime and then to Denver, 8-7.
Southern California comes into the match up with a 7-6 overall mark and a 5-2 record in MPSF play. The Women of Troy are 1-0 against UO, winning in Eugene last year, 12-10.
Alex Moore leads USC with 25 goals while Caroline de Lyra leads the team with 34 points thanks to her 21 goals and 13 assists. Machaela Michael rounds out the trio of 20-plus goal-scorers for USC with 20, but Annie Ruland is right on the cusp with 19 goals.
Amanda Johansen (40) and Michael (35) will be the focus for Oregon on draw controls while Kate Pederson also has 19 draw controls for the Women of Troy. USC leans on Liz Schaffer on the defensive end with her 34 groundballs to go along with her 69 saves in the cage. The sophomore has started all 13 games for Southern California, posting a 9.80 goals against average in 740.49 minutes of action.
USC is third in the conference in goals per game (12.62), shots per game (27.00) and turnovers per game (12.54). The Women of Troy are however third in draw controls with 13.15 compared to the Ducks’ 11.69, a category that UO will need to limit USC in on Friday.
SCOUTING THE AZTECS
Two days later, Oregon will wrap up its two-game road trip with the Aztecs of San Diego State on Sunday, April 20. The Aztecs are riding a six-game losing streak dating back to their loss at home to Princeton on March 22.
SDSU has an overall record of 6-7 and a 3-3 mark in conference play. The all-time series between the two teams is tied at 1-1 with both teams winning in the other’s home field. The Aztecs downed the Ducks, 12-10, at Papé Field last year.
Like USC, the Aztecs also suffered heartbreaking losses in the Rockies, falling to No. 20 Denver 12-10 and then lost a dramatic 7-6 match to Colorado in sudden victory.
Meris Walsh leads SDSU with 27 goals while Christina Ricciardulli is second with 22 goals. Ricciardulli however leads the team with 43 draw controls. Michaela Jarvis is the Aztec’s ball distributor, dishing out a team-high 16 assists.
Keeper Katrina Reeves is second on the team with 25 groundballs and has an 11.74 goals against average. Reeve’s is 5-7 on the year with 85 saves in the books in 654.08 minutes of play.
MOVIN’ ON UP
Shannon Propst continues to rewrite the history books at Oregon. The senior attacker, who currently has 36 assist, is now just four assists away from breaking the single-season assist record that she set last year (39).
Carly O'Connell, who has 60 draw controls, needs just nine more draw controls to break the single-season draw controls record that was set in the Ducks first season (2005) by current assistant coach Jen May Derby.
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 Towson, Md., native also cracked the top five in career-goals that weekend, and now sits at 112. The senior reeled off five goals at California – tying a career-high – and then went off for three more at St. Mary’s.
Fellow teammate Shannon Propst also joined Puszcz in the century club after she netted a pair of goals at California, becoming the seventh player in UO history to accomplish that feat.
LAST TIME OUT
Oregon saw its three-game win streak snapped at home in the first of its two-game homestand to No. 12 Stanford. The closes UO got the Cardinals was when Sami Kiser tied the game up at 2-2 with 21:12 still remaining in the first half. Shannon Propst and Casey Brogan led the Ducks with a pair of goals each, but Lucy Dikeou, Kyle Fraser and Kelsey Murray guided Stanford past the Ducks, combining for nine of the 15 goals for the Cardinal. The Ducks were edged in draw controls 15-8, which was reflected by the score, which was 15-7.
Two days later, UO matched up against UC Davis in a very physical game that consisted of 47 total fouls between the two squads to go along with nine yellow cards – eight of which belonged to the Aggies.
The Ducks are 8-2 when opposing keepers have more saves while the Ducks are 0-3 now on the season when senior goalkeeper Caroline Federighi has more saves.
Oregon jumped out to a 7-2 lead behind Sami Kiser, Bella Pyne and Carly O'Connell who registered two goals each for UO. With the match being so physical, the second half saw only a total of three goals scored and concluded with Oregon winning 8-4.
The long awaited assist and goal from Pyne to Pyne finally happened last Sunday at St. Mary’s when older sister Olivia Pyne dished out an assist to younger sister Bella Pyne at the 10:59 mark in the second half.
DUCKS IN THE NATION
Heading into this week’s competition, Shannon Propst is third in the nation with 2.77 assists per game – trailing the leader by just .03 – while Carly O'Connell is in ninth with 2.23 assists per game. Through 13 games, Propst is ninth with 5.00 points per game while O’Connell dropped to 23rd with 4.08 points per game. O’Connell is also in 18th-place in draw controls with a 4.62 average.
Senior Caroline Federighi is ninth nationally amongst keepers with a 7.84 goals against average.
As a team the Ducks dropped four spots and is in 11th-place nationally in scoring offense with 14.08 goals per game and stayed put at seventh in scoring defense, allowing 7.54 goals per game. UO is also ninth in total caused turnovers with 131.
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 4.62 points per game while teammate Carly O'Connell is right behind – in second – with 4.15 points per game.
Propst dropped to second with 2.77 assists per game after dishing out just three assists last week while O’Connell sits in third with 2.31 assist per game. O’Connell is second in the conference in draw controls with a 4.62 average and has a total of 60 on the year. Nikki Puszcz is also in third in the conference with 1.46 caused turnovers per game.
In the crease, Caroline Federighi is still holds the top spot in the goals against average category with 7.84 in 696:03 minutes of action.
As a team the Ducks are first in several categories, including: goals per game (14.08) and ground balls per game (17.85), assists per game (8.00) and points per game (22.08).
The Ducks also boasts the lowest goals against average as a team (7.48), third in save percentage (.446) and second in caused turnovers per game (10.08).
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, FEDERIGHI EARN POW HONORS
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.
After going 2-0 on the road against Cal and St. Mary’s, Caroline Federighi was named the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation’s Defensive Player of the Week. Federighi joins Propst as the only other player to earn the honor for UO this season.
The Pleasanton, Calif., native posted a 6.66 goals against average during the two-game stretch, tallying seven saves in 99:03 minutes of action between the pipes and allowed just 11 saves.
Federighi also helped herself on the defensive end, scooping up six groundballs (three each game) and caused a pair of turnovers against the Gaels.
This is the second player of the week honor for Federighi. She earned her first accolade last season on April 22.
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 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.