Second Straight Comeback Falls Short In 9-8 Loss To Oregon
BERKELEY – For the second straight game Cal unleashed a huge comeback that ended in a one-point loss in a 9-8 defeat Friday to Oregon at California Memorial Stadium. Cal trailed 9-3 with 27:18 to go in the Pac-12 contest but jumped back into the game with four goals during a span of less than four minutes early in the second half to make it 9-7. Maya Lawliss started the comeback with her third and final goal of the contest at 26:17, and was followed by Ashley Ward (24:06), Amanda Morse (22:55) and Marisa Kuberra (22:30), who also assisted on the goals by Lawliss and Ward.
Both teams would go scoreless for the next 15:12 before Ward struck again at 5:43 on an assist from Lawliss to cut the Ducks' lead to a single goal. But the Golden Bears were unable to convert on any of their final three possessions. Kuberra missed a shot to the left of the goal at 4:28 and Quinnlyn Mason hit the post with 2:35 to go. The Ducks gained possession after Mason's miss and ran the clock down to just over one minute left before Lillian Stump missed just before the shot clock ran out with 1:03 to go. But Oregon kept possession of the ball after Stump's shot went out of bounds off Cal goalkeeper Lily Rathbun.
Oregon had a chance to run the clock out but Sophia Cerino gave the Bears a final possession when she caused a Haley Cummings turnover with 0:35 to play. Cal ran the clock all the way down to 5.8 seconds remaining before calling a timeout but Lawliss was unable to get clean handle on the ball or a shot off in traffic after Nikki Zaccaro attempted to get her the ball in front of the Ducks' goal.
Cal has dropped its past three games by a total of four goals after close non-conference losses last Friday and Sunday at UC Davis (12-10) and San Diego State (11-10). The Bears had trailed, 9-5, against the Aztecs before tying the game at 9-9 late in the second half with four consecutive goals. Lawliss had a career-high four goals at San Diego State.
"It's been tough," Lawliss said. "Our last three games have been two goals, one goal and one goal, and unfortunately, we've come up on the wrong side of them. But, I think we've definitely been improving throughout the season."
"It's just a matter of stringing together 60 solid minutes rather than falling to the other team early in the first half and then having to build back up in the second," Lawliss added.
Lawliss scored her first two goals in the opening half (24:02, 7:35) in which the Bears were outscored, 7-3. Mason had the Bears other goal before the break with 14:15 to go in the first half.
Oregon put together its big run to end the first half and begin the second with five consecutive goals.
Stump and Lillian Collins each had a pair of goals for the Ducks with Collins also registering an assist. Five other Ducks scored a single goal.
Cal goalkeeper Lily Rathbun had another strong performance in relief of Drullinger with six saves and only two goals against over the final 31:46.
Friday's contest served as Cal's Bears United Game honoring the LGBTQIA+ community. Cal student-athletes wore a Bears United! t-shirt designed by Kuberra during pre-game and also were outfitted in Pride-themed accessories including neck gaiters and lacrosse stick tape. A Bears United video that included a support statement from the Pac-12 was played at halftime and a Cal lacrosse support statement was read prior to the contest between the announcement of starting lineups and the national anthem.
"It's really cool that this season we've been able to do a lot of game dedications," Lawliss said. "Game dedications are a great way to raise awareness and bring attention to different issues."
Cal hosts Colorado at California Memorial Stadium on Sunday (2 pm PT) in a game that will be dedicated to the One Love Foundation.