To begin its 2017 season under new head coach Katrina Dowd, the Oregon women’s lacrosse team won a closely-contested match against Michigan, defeating the Wolverines 11-8 on a rainy Saturday at Pape Field.
Seven different Ducks scored their first goals of the season, including a three-goal effort from sophomore Julia Taylor to lead the team.
Oregon took an early lead, tallying two goals in the first 10 minutes off of costly penalties by the Wolverines. Just three minutes into the game, junior Joanna Hesketh, who emerged as a leader over the offseason, established herself as a goal leader, too, by scoring the Ducks’ first of the season off a free shot.
Just four minutes after that, Oregon struck again when another Michigan penalty set up a goal from Mariah Gatti.
It wasn’t until after Oregon tallied its third goal, scored after a hard drive to the net by Bella Pyne, that Michigan was able to get on the scoreboard. After causing an Oregon turnover, Anna Schueler beat goaltender Becca Katzen.
Soon after that third goal by the Ducks, however, Michigan backup goalie Alli Kothari began warming up on the sidelines as if she expected what came next from the Ducks.
More mistakes by Michigan caused the Ducks to score two goals in under a minute, bringing them up to a comfortable 5-1 lead. A tripping call lead to the first goal, Gatti’s second, while a turnover caused the second, this one by sophomore Shannon Williams.
With that, Mira Shane was chased from the Michigan goal crease, allowing Kothari to finish out the game.
With the score 6-1 with about six minutes remaining in the first, Michigan began to panic. Even though the Wolverines had taken eight shots, they were only able to find the back of the net once. Luckily for them, Oregon was unable to gain control off of draws, and while Michigan tallied 16 draw controls, the Ducks could only get five.
Because of this, Michigan was able to regain control often. Even though Oregon produced another goal before the half was up, Michigan scored three of its own, two from free shots by Lauren Oberlander and Kim Coughlan.
Both Wolverines tallied their second goals of the game early in the second half, prompting Oregon to take a timeout with a diminished 7-6 lead. Taylor gave the Ducks short-lived reassurance by scoring two of her own less than a minute apart. Soon after her second goal, however, Michigan answered with one of their own when Tess Korten scored on another free shot.
With two minutes remaining in the game, Korten tallied her second goal of the game to bring the score to 11-8. However, after a failed free position shot, Oregon regained possession and finished out the game for the win.
Follow Hannah Bonnie on Twitter @hbonnie03