April 4, 2009

Oregon Enjoying Streak of Success

from press release


EUGENE, Ore. - The University of Oregon women's lacrosse team plays its final home game of the season Saturday, when the Ducks (9-3) host Virginia Tech (7-7) of the ACC on Pape' Field at 1 p.m.

Prior to the opening draw, Oregon will honor six seniors - Alicia Burkhart, Kelly Giblin, Cara Mead, Anna Poponyak, Casey Rector and Ilsa van den Berg - who will be playing in their final home game as Ducks.

All home games are carried on the O-Zone with live streaming video and audio. The final broadcast of the season is UO's home finale on Saturday, April 11, against Virginia Tech at 1 p.m.

Virginia Tech (7-7) has been a streaky side this season and come to Eugene winners of three straight. Earlier in the year, the Hokies ripped off four consecutive wins. Half of Virginia Tech's opponents in 2009 are currently ranked or receiving votes in the latest IWLCA/Under Armour weekly top 20 poll, and five of its seven losses have come at the hands of ranked teams. Va Tech has a trio of 30-goal scorers, led by Rachel Culp, who has 48 goals and 12 assists for a team-high 60 points. Allie Emala has scored 32 and Jessica Nonn 30. In the cage, Kari Morrison has played all but three minutes in 14 starts and carries a 12.15 goals against average.

The Ducks lead the all-time series, 1-0, after last season's 14-13 win in Blacksburg, Va..

Oregon is currently enjoying it's most successful stretch in program history, winning eight of nine games heading into this weekend. In 2008, the Ducks won seven out of eight games at one point on their way to a school-best 13 wins.

Oregon native Catherine Davidson has made quite an impact during her rookie season with the Ducks. The 5-9 attacker from Lake Oswego, Ore., is UO's second-leading scorer with 21 goals and 28 points, and leads all MPSF players with four game-winning goals. Her latest GWG came in the Ducks' historic win at Denver last weekend as she scored a hat trick in the second half to help halt DU's three-year league unbeaten streak.

Senior goalie Anna Poponyak became the second Oregon player to earn MPSF player of the week honors this season after being recognized for her 11-save effort in UO's 11-9 win at Denver on April 4. The win was the first for the Ducks in seven all-time meetings against DU.

Senior attacker Ilsa van den Berg is now Oregon's all-time leading goal scorer, thanks to her five-goal effort at Le Moyne March 28. The Reisterstown, Md., product scored four times in the first half to eclipse Jen May's (2005-08) mark of 128 and potted the record breaker on the game's final shot.

At 3-1 in league play, Oregon has already clinched a .500 or better MPSF record for just the second time since the program's inaugural season in 2005. The Ducks posted a 4-1 mark in '07, but had never won more than two MPSF games in any other season..

Ilsa van den Berg earned the third MPSF player of the week honor of her career for her five-goal, six-point effort in UO's win over Johns Hopkins March 15. Van den Berg equaled her career high for goals in lifting the Ducks to victory. She tallied four of her goals during a second-half comeback, including a stretch of three straight to tie the game 9-9. Her fifth and final goal proved to be the game winner in the 12-10 win. The weekly award was the first by an Oregon player this season.

Due to heavy rain, which caused unplayable conditions on Pape' Field March 15, Oregon moved its game with Johns Hopkins to Autzen Stadium and defeated the traditionally strong women's lacrosse program for the first time in four tries. It was UO's first home game outside of Pape'. Autzen, the home of Oregon football, has also hosted home soccer matches in the past.

On March 6 against Fresno State, head coach Jen Larsen's team recorded the first shutout in the program's five-year history, downing the Bulldogs 20-0.

Oregon assistant coach Jen Derby (May) was honored on March 13 in Los Angeles as the conference officially recognized the 20 Pac-10 Medal winners from the 2007-08 season. Derby was joined by former UO classmate and Duck quarterback Dennis Dixon, who was Oregon's male representative. A Conference Medal is awarded annually at each member institution to that member's outstanding senior male and female student-athlete based on the exhibition of the greatest combination of performance and achievement in scholarship, athletics, and leadership. The Pac-10 Medal is the highest Conference honor a student-athlete can receive.

Senior Ilsa van den Berg ranks fifth in the MPSF in goals per game (2.17) and shots per game (4.75), and sits tied for ninth in points per contest (2.50) ... Senior Alicia Burkhart is third in ground balls per game, scooping an average of 2.27 per contest ... Freshman Bina Barrett ranks ninth in assists per game (0.75) ... Freshman Catherine Davidson is first with four game-winning goals ... Senior goalie Anna Poponyak ranks first in goals against average (9.40) and save percentage (.479).

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