The UC Davis women’s lacrosse team took its fifth seed in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation into last week’s conference championships to face the fourth-seeded Oregon Ducks.
If UC Davis was to win,it would move on to face No.1seedDenver on Thursday in thesemi-finals.With a loss,it would have to settle for a rematch with St.Mary’s for the second time in12days to determine the fifth-place finisher.
Wednesday– Oregon14,UC Davis 9
On Feb.10,the Aggies stepped off the field on opening day at Aggie Stadium with their heads hunglowafter falling hard to conference foeOregon,15-5.
But the Aggies had a shot at redemption as they entered Memorial Stadium inBerkeley,Calif.onWednesday with anotherchanceagainstOregon,a team thatentered the contest having received votes in the national poll.
“I don’t remember the score,I don’t remember the game,” saidsenior midfielder Katie McMahon of the two teams‘ first encounter. “I definitely know that it left a bad taste in my mouth.“
Unfortunately,a late rally by UC Davis fell short asOregon held offthe Aggiesfor the second time this season,advancing in the MPSF championships and spoiling a chance for McMahon and her teammates to eliminate that bad taste.
The Aggies were evenly matched with the Ducks through the first5:39of play when McMahon scored to even up the game at2-2.
But thenOregon went on a7-1run,as six different Duck players scored in a span of10:37.
The Aggies countered quickly with a4-2run of their own with all four scores provided by freshman midfielder Christina Corsa.
Corsa’s burst,however,was not enough to stop the dynamic duo of senior midfielder Jen May and junior attacker Ilsa van den Berg.
TheMaryland natives combined for six goals and an assist to lead the Ducks over the Aggies for the second time this season.
Senior attacker Theresa Waldron added four assists for the Ducks and junior goalkeeper Anna Poponyak stopped six of15Aggie shots between the pipes.
McMahon added three goals for the Aggies and also tallied two assists in the game.Sophomore midfielder Molly Lapolla and sophomore attacker Olivia Jarem each added a goal for UC Davis.
With the loss,the Aggies had to settle for a rematch with St.Mary’s to determine the fifth-place team in the conference.
Thursday – UC Davis13,St.Mary’s11
Eleven days earlier,UC Davisclosed outits regular season in dramatic fashion when itedged a visiting St.Mary’s,14-13.
On Thursday,the Aggies had a chance to repeat the feat when it mattered most – the fifth-placegame of the MPSF Championships.
UC Davis did just that,fending off St.Mary’s for the second time this season,13-11,to claim fifthin the conferencefor the second year in a row.
The Aggies controlled the game consistently for the first49:07of play as they held a13-7lead.
But a St.Mary’s four-goal scoring run made UC Davis break a sweat before it was able to hold off the Gaels for the victory despite six scores fromGaelsjunior midfielder P.J.Hainley.
Jarem led UC Davis with three goals as four other Aggies scored twice to finish the season.
Sophomore defender Molly Peterson spearheaded the defensive core with four ground balls and four caused turnovers.
The game brought to an end the careers of seven UC Davis seniors,including the school’s all-time scorer and saves leader.
Goalkeeper Hilary Harkins capped off her stellar Aggie career with10saves,bringing her total to583career saves.
McMahon’s two goals left her with61on the season,catapulting her career total to252,almost twice as much as the closest competitor.
However,McMahon’s three assists in the conference tournament left her two short of the Aggie record.
With37goals on the season,senior midfielder Katie McGovern shot up to No.3on the UC Davis all-time list.
The win over St.Mary’s closes theAggies‘ 2008campaign with a7-11record,but there is still much to look forward to in the future of UC Davis women’s lacrosse.
“I think our freshmen,sophomores and juniors all learned a lot this year,” head coach Elaine Jonessaid. “And that’s what we want to build on next year.Everyone is just very excited to return and the coaches are definitely looking forward to improving our record and continuing to improve our players.Once again the expectations will be high and we will set the bar high again.“
MAX ROSENBLUM can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org.