Ducks Win Third Straight 14-10

photo courtesy – Paul W. Harvey IV

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The Oregon women’s lacrosse team earned its third straight victory on Saturday afternoon, dropping Marist, 14-10, at Papé Field.

How It Happened: The Ducks (6-2, 1-0 MPSF) relied on a balanced scoring effort to blow past the Red Foxes, using goals from nine different players.

It was a defensive battle early with both teams trading shots and saves, but senior Holly Johnson got the Ducks on the board first at the 23:52 mark off an assist from national assist leader Cambi Cukar. After Marist’s Allison Gionta knotted the score back up less than a minute later, Cukar dished off another helper to freshman Madeline Reece.

Marist responded with a quick 3-0 run lasting just over a minute to take a 4-2 advantage, before Carly O’Connell, off an assist from Bella Pyne, and Kathryn Blumhardt, on a free position attempt, tallied two scores to tie the game yet again with 17:26 to go in the first half.

After Kara McHugh converted an unassisted goal to give Marist the 5-4 lead, O’Connell tied the game for the fourth and final time with an unassisted score of her own with 3:44 on the clock. The Ducks and Red Foxes would head into the locker room even at five goals each.

Much like they did in their MPSF-opening win over Fresno State, the Ducks mounted a significant run to open the second period and overwhelm the Red Foxes. Oregon scored seven of the game’s next eight goals to seize control of the contest.

Pyne, Cukar and sophomore Mariah Gatti each found the back of the net to spark the Oregon run. Disrupted by a McHugh goal at the 19:50 mark, the Ducks re-ignited the hot streak with four more unanswered goals, led by two consecutive from sophomore Evan Murphy. O’Connell and Johnson were able to cap off the run to give Oregon a 12-6 edge just over halfway through the second frame, its biggest lead of the day.

Marist’s Allison Gionta was able to put in two straight over the next eight minutes, before Gatti and Rachel Steinberg answered to rebuild the Duck lead to six with two minutes to go.

The Red Foxes scored twice more before the final buzzer, but the Ducks’ lead proved to be too big to overcome.

Who Stood Out: Senior goalie Jenna Morris was able to stave off the Red Fox attack, recording a season-high nine saves in 60 minutes to pick up her sixth win of the season. Jill Zubillaga was also a strong presence for the Duck defense with career highs of three ground balls and three draw controls, along with two caused turnovers. Senior Jackie Moccia also caused a career-high three Red Fox turnovers.

On offense, Cukar led the Ducks in points with four (1g, 3a). O’Connell added a team-high three goals, while Evan Murphy added a new career high scoring total with two. Oregon scoring leader Holly Johnson added two goals to her 2016 total to bring her count to 18.

Notable: With nine saves, Jenna Morris passed the 100 save mark for her career, becoming only the fifth goalie in program history to reach that mark … With the win, Oregon finished the first homestand of the season with a 4-1 record … Cambi Cukar’s three assists moved her past Alex Breiner for fifth in the program record book for career assists (63) … Oregon outshot its opponent for the sixth straight game (29-27).

Up Next: The Ducks head back out on the road nest weekend to face San Diego State and USC. The team opens the weekend with the Aztecs in San Diego, Calif., on Friday at 7 p.m., before a Sunday afternoon matchup with the Trojans at noon in Los Angeles.