A timeout in the first half of the game proved to be the turning point.
At 12 p.m. this Thursday afternoon in Aztec Field, the Cal lacrosse team (2-2, 1-1 in the MPSF) finally notched its second win of the season against Detroit Mercy (1-4). After two close losses to No. 9 James Madison and Oregon, the Bears were ready to use their 10-day break between games to fix minor mental errors in decision-making and unforced turnovers.
The fine-tuning paid off. The Bears overturned the Titans, 18-9.
“It was pretty different from our last two games just because we didn’t really know anything about this team,” junior Megan Takacs said. “But I think that helped us really focus on us and on playing simple Cal lacrosse, and we’re so glad to have finally come out with that big W.”
Because of Cal’s inconsistency with draw controls, the Titans garnered an early 3-1 lead in the first half. However, Detroit’s call for a timeout 10 minutes into the game ended up being more advantageous for the Bears than the Titans.
“When they called a time out, we took that opportunity to talk to our players and have them regroup,” Miles said. “We reminded them about making tactical adjustments and executing good plays on the attack and on defense, and they came out of that time-out and ran away with it.”
After that timeout, Cal scored eight consecutive goals, while the Titans failed to make any. Although Detroit’s senior midfielders Corina Mahorn and Emily Boissonneault frequently picked up the draws early on in the game, the Bears came out of the timeout fighting for those draws and collecting ground ball possessions.
“We really made big adjustments on the defense,” Takacs said. “We had Tori Harrison guard (Boissonnueault), and we overloaded our defensive end so we had more numbers. Since our defenders were exploding off the line, we were able to easily get the draw controls.”
Midfielder Megan Takacs paced Cal with six goals to win the game. Midfielders Melissa Humphrey and Paige Gasparino each scored with four points apiece, and senior Emily Abbood matched her four draw controls with four ground balls.
Although the Bears came out with the victory against Detroit Mercy, they are still not completely satisfied with their initial performance in the first 10 minutes of the game.
“Sure, from the scoreboard we won by a lot, but we’re definitely not satisfied and we just really need to focus on our game,” Takacs said. “We have to be more cohesive on the attacking end and just be solid and consistent. If we focus on our game, I think we can win.”