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Saturday, April 20, 2024

UC Davis women’s lacrosse falls to Denver, preps for next season


The Aggies fall to Denver Pioneers 15-4 at conference championships, look to improve for next season

The fourth-seeded UC Davis women’s lacrosse team took a 15-4 loss against the Denver Pioneers in the quarterfinal game of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championship (MPSF) tournament . This loss put an end to the Aggies’ season, as they finished with an overall record of 7-8 and a conference record of 5-4.

Senior attackers Sam Axenroth and Ellie Delich, freshman midfielder Taylor Cuenin and junior attacker Melissa Kellan each scored goals for the Aggies. Delich and Cuenin were honored as first and second team members, respectively, for all-conference awards.  Axenroth and freshman midfielder Shannon Cross each picked up an assist, and Delich, along with sophomore midfielder Shannon Geary, earned four draw controls. Junior defender Tess Kevorkian earned two of the team’s six steals, and sophomore goalkeeper Lauren Ali received six saves and three ground balls.

The first goal of the game took place in the third minute of play, as Axenroth assisted Cuenin to give the Aggies the lead early on. UC Davis increased the lead to 2-1 when Axenroth scored the second goal for UC Davis.

Denver scored six unanswered goals before the half, bringing the score to 8-2. The Pioneers went on to score another six unanswered goals in the second half, ending the game with a 15-4 win over the Aggies.

“There’s nothing to be upset about […] it was the best way to go out,” senior midfielder Courtney Neff said. “I don’t think I could have asked for a better way for the season to have gone, and I am so happy we were able to make history in the program.”

This game marked the end of the season for the UC Davis women’s lacrosse team under first year head coach Tee Ladouceur. Under Ladouceur, the Aggies’ 5-4 conference record is the first winning record produced by women’s lacrosse since 2000, and the Aggies’ appearance in the MPSF Championship tournament was their first in six years.

Ladouceur shared some of her thoughts on her first season coaching the Aggies and her thoughts for the future of the team.

“I would say the reason I got the job is because my philosophy is just to bring the best out in the girls and have them come together into one unit,” Ladouceur said. “We are graduating six starters and there are major shoes to fill, which we might have to fill in different ways […] we have to focus on the little things we can do well.”

Neff and senior midfielder Morgan Sissler spoke about their new coach’s philosophy during this past season.

“When Tee came in, she wanted us to work hard but also have fun,” Sissler said. “I think the ability to have fun while you play lacrosse is overlooked, and having her show up with a smile on her face everyday really helped our team grow on and off the field.”

Neff praised Ladouceur’s coaching techniques that have influenced the path of the team.

“I don’t think this school could ask for a better lacrosse coach […] she pushes us to have fun, which is why we all started playing this game, and she did a great job reminding us why we started,” Neff said.

In the face of an upcoming season without them, the graduating seniors shared advice for the team.

“Trust the system and trust yourself,” Sissler said.

If this season for the UC Davis women’s lacrosse team is any indication for the seasons to come under coach Ladouceur, there could very well be a conference championship for women’s lacrosse in the near future.

Neff is optimistic about the team’s future.

“Live in the moment and don’t take anything for granted,” Neff said. “Now that this program is off to new things, enjoy it while you have it.”


Written by: Ryan Bugsch  – sports@theaggie.org


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