Oregon women's lacrosse falls to No. 18 William and Mary, 12-8

In women’s college lacrosse, the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation lacks a certain prestige afforded to schools on the East Coast. Oregon has done its part to erase the stigma, but ran into a wall against No. 18 William and Mary last Friday.

The Tribe (3-1) scored in bunches throughout the game, allowing the squad to keep it close in the first half and take control in the second. Three consecutive goals gave William and Mary an early lead, but Oregon kept it close with a 4-4 score at half. The teams traded goals after intermission, but a 6-0 run in the second half cemented a victory for Oregon’s ranked opponent.

William and Mary showcased speed and slick setup plays, but those aspects of the game were negated when the Ducks dominated possession in the first half. Just 2:45 in, Oregon’s Ashley Inman beat a leaky defense to kick off the game with her third goal of the year.

The Tribe clawed back with quick strikes and stayed close to the Ducks during a low scoring first half. The cadence of play through 30 minutes reflected Oregon’s ability to impose its game plan.

“I felt like we controlled play in the first half,” Oregon coach Jen Larsen said.

Jess Drummond made her presence felt early and often. The junior from Nashua, N.H., scored the second and third goals for Oregon and had four in the game. Drummond was assisted twice by freshman Shannon Propst and once by her sister, Jana Drummond.

After the first half, the Tribe blanketed Jess Drummond when the Ducks had possession and stifled the most dangerous player in Oregon’s attack. Physical play resulted in a Jess Drummond red card at the 16:19 mark of the second half. Nevertheless, Larsen highlighted the junior’s contribution.

“We never know who it’s going to be,” Larsen said. “The offense is set up to highlight anybody who takes the lane and shoots and scores, and it was Jana (Friday).”

Jess Drummond added three ground balls to her four-goal effort Friday night. Two goals and a pair of assists from junior Bina Barrett gave her 15 scores on the season. Oregon’s leading scorer, Jana Drummond, assisted her sister and earned three draw controls, a stat the Ducks have dominated their opponents in this season, but the effort ultimately fell short.

“We just needed to dig our heels in,” junior Lara Bennett said. “We didn’t have the possession we wanted in the second half.”

Oregon’s starting lineup showed the team was not at full capacity. Early on, the Ducks substituted sparingly, a theme that would continue throughout the game, even during the Tribe’s streak of six unanswered goals. After the contest, Larsen appeared unimpressed with the team’s second-half effort, regardless of the personnel situation.

“Yeah we (had) some injuries, but we can’t dwell on that,” Larsen said. “We stepped up for a while, but our gas wasn’t enough to keep up with them.”

Playing against backups, the Ducks outscored William and Mary 3-1 down the stretch. Alex Breiner netted a late goal in addition to two early assists. The senior’s three points catapulted her into fourth place on the all-time points list for Oregon with 136.

At an even 3-3 with one conference win over perennial bottom-dweller Fresno State, Oregon embarks on a six-game road trip which represents two-thirds of the team’s remaining schedule. The Ducks will play four games east of the Mississippi River before coming back to face two conference opponents.

The Ducks return to action March 21 when they take on Iona. The next home game is Friday, April 25, when Stanford comes to Pape Field.

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