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Ducks goalkeeper, Alle Dunbar (45), throws a caught goal attempt to her teammates. Oregon Ducks Womens lacrosse bests the Liberty Flames, 20-12. (Madelyn Stellingwerf/Emerald)

Oregon women’s lacrosse came up short Sunday afternoon, falling to UC Davis 14-8 in its second home game of the year. 

Each team scored on their respective opening possessions, with Maddie Myers getting an easy goal inside for UC Davis and Clair Domshick scoring for the Ducks. The Aggies would control the majority of the first half, however, scoring five unanswered goals to push the score to 6-1. The Ducks went 15 minutes without scoring, with their next goal coming from Carlie Leach with 13 minutes left in the half. 

The latter third of the first half was a different story. Leach’s goal sparked a 5-2 finish of the half in favor of the Ducks with goals coming from Hannah Hilcoff, Shonly Wallace and Jamie Level. They seemed to find more of a rhythm offensively, something they lacked at the beginning of the game.

Eight of 11 Oregon starters were underclassmen and the group is still looking to find an identity and gel as a unit.

“For us it’s about figuring out who we are and how our upperclassmen who are in the game can really help us,” head coach Chelsea Gamble Hoffman said. “[The sophomores] are playing like juniors now just because they’ve had those grinding moments.”

Oregon took the field in the second half down just two goals, but the groove they found at the end of the first half was lost. UC Davis started the half with goals from Sorana Larson and Myers, then scored three more after an Oregon goal from Katie Collins. 

“I think it’s the fight that I want them to have for everyone on the field for that whole 60 minutes,” Hoffman said. “I think we had it for about 20 minutes.”

The Aggies had excellent ball control and ran the clock down with long possessions while scoring several times on second-chance goals. When Oregon did get shot opportunities, its shots flew high or wide of the goal, resulting in only two goals in the second half. 

Oregon keeper Alle Dunbar was impressive in net nonetheless, racking up 11 saves to register a .440 save percentage.

“She’s done a lot of extra work that’s helping her build her confidence,” Hoffman said. 

On the other end of the field, UC Davis’ keeper was even more dominant, saving 10 shots and only allowing eight goals for a save percentage of .556. The Ducks struggled to move the ball in the offensive zone, with the Aggies defense eliminating passing lanes and forcing the Ducks to create space individually. They weren’t able to register any assists, while six of the Aggies’ goals came on assists. Oregon also racked up 21 turnovers compared to just 14 by UC Davis.

Leach and Wallace led the Ducks with two goals apiece, but Level and Domshick had the most Oregon shots with five.

Myers completed a hat trick before the end of the first half and would go on to lead UC Davis in goals, scoring five of the 14.

The Ducks will head to Boulder next weekend to start Pac-12 play with a 1 p.m. game Friday against Colorado.