Ducks Make It Two Straight
EUGENE, Ore. — Morgan McCarthy and Hanna Hilcoff each recorded hat tricks and Oregon caused a season-high 11 turnovers as the Ducks won their second straight game and their first in Pac-12 play this season, 12-9 over California on Friday at Papé Field.
After a back-and-forth fight early, Oregon (3-6, 1-3 Pac-12) used a flurry of goals just before halftime to take control. Gabby Cleveland scored twice during a 4-1 run over the latter stages of the second quarter, giving the Ducks a halftime lead, 8-6, that they never relinquished.
"We're competing really well, and we're growing every game," said UO coach Chelsea Hoffmann, whose team caused 11 turnovers Friday to top the season-high 10 they recorded in a win Sunday over Marquette. "We have a lot of youth, so it's great to get wins under their belt but also have really successful first, second, third and fourth quarters. So I think they're building off that."
How It Happened: The two teams traded the lead early, with McCarthy and Haley Taylor giving Oregon a 2-1 lead and Cal jumping back ahead 3-2. Bailey Smith and Shonly Wallace put the Ducks back in front, but again the Golden Bears answered to lead 5-4 midway through the second quarter.
But with 5:56 left in the half, McCarthy scored again to tie it up. That sparked Oregon's run that gave the Ducks the lead for good, as Cleveland scored their next two goals and Alyssa Wright added another just 9 seconds before the halftime horn sounded.
McCarthy completed her hat trick to open scoring in the third, before Hilcoff rattled off Oregon's next three goals herself. While Cal's nine goals were scored by just three players, Oregon's 12 goals were scored by seven different Ducks.
"We have so many different threats, and everyone is willing to step up to the challenge," Hoffmann said. "We've used a lot of lineups, we've been rotating different athletes and it's been nice to keep our team fresh while having different threats. I think it makes us unscoutable, which is exciting going into the end of our Pac-12 season and the start of the tournament."
Who Stood Out: Lily Shalz set the tone for Oregon's defense, causing five turnovers and collecting three groundballs. Wallace had an assist along with her 16th goal of the season, and Hilcoff's hat trick gave her a team-high 24 goals. McCarthy won four draws while scoring three times to reach 10 goals for the season, while Wright collected five groundballs and scored her seventh goal. Cassidy Eckert had six saves in goal.
What It Means: The Ducks won despite committing 14 turnovers, and Hoffmann would have liked to see them put more shots on goal offensively; 22 of Oregon's 31 shots Friday were on goal.
"We have to understand how to control the tempo, how to control when you're ahead, and that takes time," she said. "But I'm proud that we can win these games even when it's a little ugly. Now, let's try to do it better; it'll never be perfect, but better."
Up Next: The Ducks host Stanford at Papé Field on Sunday at noon.