Oregon lacrosse falls to Canisius in their first ever matchup
It was more than just a novel rivalry between schools on opposite ends of the nation as Oregon faced off against Canisius College for the first time in history at Papé Field on Monday afternoon.
It was akin to a friendly match organized by Oregon’s head coach, Katrina Dowd, and Canisius’ head coach, Scott Teeter, who joined forces coaching together on the Canada women’s national team this year. Teeter leads a coaching staff of five while Dowd is one of three assistant coaches.
Though Teeter said that Canisius does not travel to the west coast that much due to time zone differences and administrative issues, he and Dowd managed to schedule a match to let both teams gain experience. This is Canisius’ first and only match scheduled on the west coast this season.
Even though Canisius trailed Oregon early on, Teeter’s team emerged victorious with a win of 15-11 after drawing even with the Ducks at halftime before surging toward the win in the second half.
“It was a great back-and-forth battle,” Teeter said.
The Ducks initially held a 3-point lead, but the Griffins soon caught up to them and left the Ducks trailing for the first time at the end of the first period with a score of 8-7. Canisius then steadily extended their lead as they gained strength in the second half, putting in seven more shots.
Oregon was only able to muster three more goals in the final five minutes of the game, scoring three goals within two minutes, but the deficit proved too big for them to overcome before the countdown ended.
“I’ll give credit to my players for leaving it all out there,” Dowd said. “We had kind of a mental lapse when we turned the ball over a little too much in that time and they capitalized on all our mistakes. That was a tough stretch for us.”
Oregon lost one of its starting midfielders, Natalie Modly, two minutes after the second period started. She had to be carted off the field with her left knee in a brace. It fell to midfielder Jojo Hesketh to take the draws, and toward the end, attacker Mariah Gatti got in some draw practice as well.
While Canisius proved dominant in the draws in the first period 16-12, Oregon turned the tables after they switched to Gatti, coming out on top 8-4.
“Mariah took full advantage of her height and her skillset, which allowed us to make a little run at the end,” Dowd said. Gatti, who stands at 5 feet, 11 inches, is the tallest player on the team.
Gatti was Oregon’s highlight of the day as she contributed four goals, just one short of her career-high of five. Considering that she is just eight months removed from an ACL surgery, she has no complaints.
“I worked really hard to come back, and it feels awesome to be back out on the field with my teammates,” the junior said.
Canisius’ best offensive threat came in the form of All-American Erica Evans, who Dowd said was a speedy player with great vision. Evans, the 2016 MVP of her conference, was limited to one goal in the game with midfielder Julia Taylor breathing down her neck throughout the game.
“She’s a very respectful player,” Taylor said. “She’s speedy, but I kept my eyes on her hips and tried to shut off her left hand so she got nothing in.”
Oregon will next host California at 3 p.m. on Jan 19 before they hit the road for the next two months.
“We’re gonna come back next week and shut them down,” Taylor said.
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