After practice, Shannon Williams, junior attacker for the Oregon women’s lacrosse, and five of her teammates stayed late to shoot around. Williams said this is normal for the team, especially when the weather’s nice.
“We’re out here trying. We haven’t achieved some of the success that other teams have, but it’ll come. We’re putting in the work every day and we’re really hoping for it,” she said of her team, who went 8-8 during the regular season. “We really are trying to create this culture here and this example of excellence.”
Williams, who has started every game at Oregon, is the top-scorer for the Ducks and the youngest starting attack. Last season, she broke Oregon’s single-season record for goals with 51, and she broke the points record with 72. She also broke the single-season records for goals per game (three) and points per game (4.24). This season, heading into the Pac-12 championships, she is just seven points away from her previous record for points.
Earlier this season, Williams was recognized as the Pac-12 offensive player of the week, the only Duck to be recognized this season, after shooting 4-for-5 and helping secure a win in the Ducks’ season-opener against UC Davis
Oregon finished the regular season last Friday in Colorado where they lost to the Buffaloes 19-9. Williams scored two of the Ducks’ nine points.
Despite being the youngest starting attacker, Oregon head coach Katrina Dowd said Williams plays with the maturity and threat of an older player. She isn’t just the top-scorer, but has the second most assists on her team with 28, following senior attack Cambi Cukar, who has 43.
“She wants to make everyone else look good, sometimes to a fault,” Williams’ teammate and roommate senior midfielder Natalie Modly said.
Dowd called Williams the team’s “most dangerous player,” saying the junior attack is a threat both behind the net and in her ability to see what’s happening on the field.
“She’s gonna be one of those pillars of our program, somebody even ten years from now we’ll still talk about,” said Dowd. “She’s that leader for us.”
Williams, who is the head of Oregon’s Student Advisory Committee and a pre-med student, is “the fabric of the team,” Dowd said.
Oregon travels to Boulder, Colorado, for the Pac-12 Championships this weekend as a No. 4 seed. They play No. 5 Cal in the first round on Thursday, April 26.
The Ducks won their first matchup against the Bears at home with a final score of 12-7, but failed to secure a win on the road in Berkeley, losing 15-13.
“Everybody’s gotta be dynamic,” Dowd said of her team heading into the championships.
“[Williams] gotta be playing with killer instincts; she’s gotta be playing with swagger and just a never quit, never die attitude in order to fulfill our goal to walk away with the first Pac-12 championship.”
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