The mood’s just like the recent weather for Oregon women’s lacrosse before its home-opener
As Oregon women’s lacrosse head coach Jen Beck puts it, the mood is just like the weather right now. The Ducks (2-0) welcome San Diego State for both their home and conference opener on Saturday and the excitement level is at its peak.
Beck and Oregon are coming off a 2014 season in which the team finished fourth in MPSF play with a 6-3 mark. However, now into her 11th season as head coach at Oregon, Beck is employing what she calls a “totally new team.”
Shannon Propst, who broke the all-time records for assists (114) and points (219), is gone. Goalie Caroline Federighi, who posted a .479 saves percentage and 9.02 goals against average, which were good for best all-time, has departed.
But right now, Beck is just excited to play in front of the home fans at Pape Field. She spoke with The Emerald to break down how the season has gone so far, who has filled the gaps that certain seniors left and what the strengths are for this unit.
What’s the mood?
Mood’s just like the weather. We’re really excited, light, sunny sort of weather. I think we’re just super pumped to play in front of our fans. We’re excited to play on our home field in not only our home-opener, but our conference opener.
Your team lost a few individuals who made huge impacts last year. What’s the transition like from last year to this season?
Totally new team. We’ve incorporated 10 new freshman into our systems, our sets definitely have a whole new look to who we are on the field. We have a great platform for learning.
How has Janelle Parker looked in the net?
We have goalies that are stepping up. Janelle was the one slated this past road trip. We’ll see what happens this coming weekend. It’ll be either Janelle or Jenna Morris or Becca Katzen. It’s been a great little competition between the three of them. So we’ll see once we get there for the weekend.
How has Hayley Milner looked coming back from injury?
She’s doing great. She was able to get back to full go in the fall, took it real slow because there was no hurry for us to get her back. But it was really nice to have her at full go since January and she hasn’t missed a beat.
What are the strengths of your team?
We’ll continue to have multiple goal scorers. It’s not really on the shoulders of one or two people to execute our offense. I think it makes us more potent. You have to honor everyone equally on the field and that is a definite strength of ours.
Carly O’Connell was named Mountain Pacific Sports Federation’s Offensive Player of the Week on Monday. What type of performances did she have and how is she coming along?
She’s a super competitor so it doesn’t surprise me that she’s doing a little bit more of the shouldering. She’s doing a good job playing in the midfield both offensively and defensively, keeping herself in the mix wherever she is and making a positive impact.
Who are the leaders of this year’s group?
Ali Scharkey’s stepped up on the defensive end. Milner, and Olivia Pyne are our captains this year.
What are you looking forward to this season?
I wake up every day grateful to be a Duck and I just try to keep the team as grounded as possible. So we’re focused on San Diego State, having a home-opener, playing in front of our Duck fans and opening our conference.
What’s your take on San Diego State? What type of threat does the team pose?
They are a fantastic team. I think their offense and defense is really solid. It’s always a competitive game every time we’ve played them.
Follow Justin Wise on Twitter @JustinFWise
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