Ducks Fall Short In Defensive Battle to Open 2021
SAN DIEGO – The Oregon lacrosse team came up just short in its first game in nearly a year, falling 11-9 in a defensive battle against San Diego State in the 2021 season opener on Friday night at Aztec Lacrosse Field.
Senior Alle Dunbar had a career day in the net with 13 saves, while a trio of Ducks scored a pair of goals to lead the offense.
How It Happened: Oregon (0-1) got on the board first, with Lillian Stump finding the net at the 28:33 mark for the first Duck goal of the year. After the Aztecs (1-1) tied it at one, Morgan McCarthy knifed through the SDSU defense and found Hanna Hilcoff, who put it away to make it 2-1. The Aztecs responded with four straight goals to open up a 6-2 lead at the 16:19 mark of the first half.
The Ducks cut into the deficit before the break, scoring four times in the final 7:03 of the first half to make it 8-6 at the break. Haley Cummins scored her first collegiate goal before Hilcoff found the back of the net for the second time to make it 6-4. After a pair of SDSU goals pushed the Aztecs' lead to 8-4, Shonly Wallace and Morgan McCarthy both scored unassisted goals to bring the deficit back to two.
The two teams traded goals in a defensive battle in the second half. The Ducks shut out SDSU for the first 15 minutes of the half, and cut it to a one-score game on three separate occasions. Oregon was never able to draw even, though, as the Aztecs answered each time to stretch their lead back to two.
Freshman Nakeeya McCardell scored her first career goal at the 24:13 mark to bring Oregon within one, but SDSU made it a two-goal game again with 14:29 left, ending a 10-minute scoring drought by both teams. Stump added her second score of the game with 13:06 to go, but the Aztecs got their fifth free position goal to extend their lead to 10-8. McCardell again cut the deficit to one with an unassisted goal at 7:20 before SDSU's Cailin Young capped off the scoring with a goal at the 6:39 mark.
Who Stood Out: Dunbar recorded a career-high 13 saves, one more than her previous high of 12 recorded in Oregon's final game of the shortened 2020 season. McCarthy impressed in her collegiate debut, recording a goal and two assists to lead Oregon with three total points. Hilcoff, Stump and McCarrell each finished with a pair of goals, and junior Brooke Rooney dished out two assists with three caused turnovers. McCardell and Lily Shalz each forced two turnovers apiece, and Hilcoff led the team with three draw controls.
Quotable: Head Coach Chelsea Hoffmann
On returning to competition...
"After 50 weeks without a game, it was great to see the team out there again versus another opponent. They were so excited and nervous to play again! We had a lot of fun energy that was pent up for awhile due to COVID."
On her main takeaways from the game...
"We improved defensively throughout the game and Alle Dunbar came up with some huge saves. Our freshmen had opportunities to see and feel what playing at the next level will be like. We aren't satisfied and need to focus on the little things moving into our next opponent."
Notable: Oregon started three true freshmen (Cummins, McCardell & McCarthy), all of whom scored their first career goals in Friday's game … Hilcoff has scored multiple goals in seven of eight games to open her collegiate career … Stump found the back of the net multiple times in a game for the 15th time in her career.
Up Next: The Ducks will play at UC Davis on Sunday at 1 p.m. PT.