Oregon lacrosse: UConn edges out Ducks in home opener 10-8

Although Oregon lacrosse came out strong in the first half, the Ducks could not come up with a win in their home opener, as they fell to the Connecticut Huskies 10-8 today at Papé Field.

Oregon came out with the energy and extra step in the first half. The Ducks were aggressive in the midfield and goalie Caroline Federighi made major saves for Oregon.

“Caroline played phenomenal throughout the whole game and (I) really give her props for the belief we had in that game,” head coach Jen Beck said.

Federighi had eight saves in the first half and 12 for the game.

Oregon was the first to score with a goal from Casey Brogan. Sophomore Carly O’Connell tallied the assist.

O’Connell continued to contribute in the first half, scoring Oregon’s second goal just under the 18-minute mark in the half and picking up another assist.

Seniors Nikki Puszcz and Sami Kiser also scored for the Ducks as Oregon headed into the locker room at halftime with a 5-2 lead.

Beck added that keeping possession in the first half was key for the Ducks.

In the second half the Ducks failed to keep the momentum and struggled on the draw.

The Huskies took advantage of gaining possession to catch up and bring the score closer.

Connecticut lead in draw controls 13-3.

Along with possession, the Ducks had many shot opportunities that just didn’t go their way.

Beck mentioned that the Huskies’ zone defense pressured the team on offense and she hopes to replicate pressure situations more in practice to execute better.

Connecticut’s Katherine Finkelston lead the Huskies comeback in the second half, scoring two back-to-back goals to inch her team closer at 7-6.

Finkleston led all scorers with six goals.

After a goal from Jacqueline Jordan with just under 12 minutes left, the Huskies took a one-goal lead, their first lead of the whole game.

Just a minute later, Oregon’s Shannon Propst found Casey Brogan to tie up the match.

The Ducks just couldn’t finish at the circle, as Connecticut was able to maintain possession, giving Oregon no time to try to catch up.

“I think UConn did a really good job of grabbing the momentum,” Beck said. “Having those four goals go in one right after the other and we can’t get the draw. It’s tough to stop that.”

Oregon will face Fresno State tomorrow in its first MPSF conference matchup. The first draw is set for 2 p.m. at Papé Field.

“We have to dig in our heels tomorrow and make a difference,” Beck said.

Follow Beth Maiman on Twitter @bethamaiman

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