The Cal lacrosse team is determined to avenge early season losses in its upcoming East Coast road trip.
As of now, the Bears are three games into a fledgling win streak.
At 2 p.m. on Thursday, Cal (6-5, 3-2 in the MPSF) will look to extend its streak when the team faces a Vermont squad that ranks among the nation’s top 10 in ground balls, goals and points.
“We’ve lost a lot of close games this season — games that we really had a chance of winning,” said coach Ginger Miles. “Those losses are still lingering with us, and we’re hoping to use these next two games as an opportunity to really execute to the level we’re capable of.”
The Bears will travel to Virtue Field in Burlington, Vt., to play their second-to-last away game of the season. Cal will then go head-to-head with Boston College this Saturday in Newton, Mass.
The Catamounts (8-5) boast one of the strongest offenses in the nation. Vermont has scoring leaders in senior midfielder Samantha Stern and sophomore attacker Sydney Mas, who are both three goals away from a career 100.
However, the Bears plan to maintain their unity on the field with the defenders backing up their attackers, and vice versa.
“Sometimes the girls get caught up within their own realms, thinking solely about what they can do on the attacking or defending end,” Miles said. “But it’s all about the midfield, defense and attack working together as one unit.”
The Bears have been showing their potential as of late through their on-field adjustments in matches.
Cal stepped up its defense against conference foe UC Davis, keeping the Aggies’ star player in check. Sophomore goalie Megan McGinnis limited Aggie attacker Elizabeth Datino to just two goals that night, helping the Bears notch their third conference victory with a game-high 10 saves.
Most recently, Cal topped Fresno State after a slight modification to the team’s game plan due to the bleak and rainy weather on Tuesday.
“Sometimes you have to change it up, because in times like this where the elements are involved, it’s going to be a little wet and a little slippery out there,” Miles said. “We told them to shorten up the passes and to take the easy ones, and they kept it simple.”
While the Bears are looking to compensate for their previous losses, the team feels that playing against East coast schools will give them a chance to prepare for their last MPSF match and attest to how well they have been working throughout the season.
With their newfound speed, the Bears hope to come out with two East coast wins — one against Vermont, and another against Boston College — before their final conference home game against Stanford.
“Traditionally, East Coast schools are tougher,” said junior Sarah Milik. “But if we can win these, I think we have a shot at beating Stanford for our last game of the season.”