Bears use ball control against Hofstra to snag first home victory

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The Cal lacrosse team had one goal in mind on Sunday: consistently maintain the ball on the attacking end.

At Witter Rugby Field, the Bears did that just, winning a hard-fought possession battle, 15-11, over Hofstra for their first home victory of the season.

On Wednesday, Cal (4-4, 2-2 in the MPSF) suffered a disappointing conference loss to Denver due to its inability to capitalize on ball possessions throughout the game. On Sunday, with a renewed focus on ball control on their attack, the Bears were able to take a commanding lead from their first point until the end of the match.

“Our main point of emphasis today was to really hold on to the ball on attack and when we were going in to shoot, to make sure that we were shooting to score,” said junior attacker Megan Takacs. “That was kind of our motto— shoot to score, don’t just shoot to shoot.”

Although the Pride (2-7) made the first goal two minutes into the game, Cal notched three consecutive goals and eventually garnered a 9-6 halftime lead, with five different Bears scoring goals. Takacs nabbed her four goals in the first half, while midfielders Vail Horn, Paige Gasparino, Amelia Burke and Emily Abbood all scored one each.

“Megan Takacs did a terrific job on the draw, as she normally does, and she complemented that with another four goal performance,” said coach Ginger Miles. “But really it was an overall team effort — we had a lot of people touch the ball and a lot of people get on the scoreboard.”

Sophomore Amelia Burke opened the second half by scoring an eight-meter goal less than a minute into the period, and she completed her hat trick three minutes later to give Cal an 11-6 lead. The Bears outscored Hofstra 6-1 for an eight-point advantage.

The Pride rebounded and later went on a 4-0 run; however, Takacs notched the last draw control and the Bears held onto their four-point victory.

“We wanted to come out with the foot on the gas, and we did that and maintained that all through the second half,” Miles said.

In contrast to their previous match against Denver, the Bears consistently capitalized on ball possessions on their attacking end to make several fast break goals. Cal hopes continue to maintain its focus on ball control going into its matchup against nonconference rival Navy this Wednesday.

“We upset Navy last year, but this year it’s on their home turf,” Takacs said. “We want to maintain this momentum and focus we have from today and beat them again — but now on their turf.”

The Bears take on the Mids in Annapolis, Md., at 4 p.m.