Bears look to end season with victory over Cardinal

The Bears hope to even their home record at 3-3 with a victory over Stanford on Friday. The Bears have had more success away from Berkeley, posting a 5-3 record.
Faith Buchanan/File
The Bears hope to even their home record at 3-3 with a victory over Stanford on Friday. The Bears have had more success away from Berkeley, posting a 5-3 record.

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This Friday, the Cal lacrosse team will play for nothing but pride in its last regular season game against Stanford. With junior Megan Takacs now out for the season, the Bears may not be playing for much in the postseason, either.

Takacs, who was injured in Cal’s win against Vermont last Thursday, did not play in the Bears’ previous match against Boston College, in which they fell 16-6. The loss, one of Cal’s worst of the season, was the first game the Bears played without Takacs. She had already broken Cal’s single-season goals record, with 53. The junior is still the top scorer in the nation with a 4.08 goals-per-game average.

Before Takacs was injured, the team was on a three-game winning streak. The Bears may have struggled in the first half of their game against Villanova; however, they finished out strong, netting shot after shot to notch their first victory of the streak. Going into its Davis game, the squad was overly prepared, easily dominating the Aggies and then using this momentum to slaughter conference opponent Fresno State by a 14-point chasm.

During these matches, Takacs notched 12 goals overall, scoring about a third of the team’s goals in each game. The Bears came out with another victory against Vermont to extend their win streak to four; however, after losing Takacs, the team fell to No. 20 Boston College, ending their streak.

As of now, the Bears (8-6, 4-2 in the MPSF) are ranked third in the MPSF standings, while the Cardinal (5-9, 3-2) are fourth. The 5 p.m. game at Witter Field has few implications for the upcoming MPSF Tournament, however, as both teams have already clinched berths. Whoever wins this Friday’s matchup will snag the third seed in the tournament, while the loser will take fourth.

Stanford has had a rough season plagued by two- and three-game losing streaks against East Coast schools. And although Emilie Boeri leads Stanford in goals and assists, she still falls behind Takacs and attackers Melissa Humphrey and Alexa Rozelle in comparison.

However, the Cardinal still managed to clinch their position in the MPSF Tournament after defeating Davis with a close 19-18 win on Wednesday. Although Stanford has one final conference match against St. Mary’s this Sunday, it will likely gain another victory against the Gaels, who are ranked seventh in the MPSF standings.

Without Takacs, Cal will find it difficult to overcome a first-round matchup against either Denver or Oregon, both of which are tied for first place with 6-0 records. The Bears came close in their previous games against the two squads, as Cal only fell by three- and one-point margins, respectively.

Prior to the match, the Bears will celebrate Senior Day for its four senior co-captains: MPSF All-American Emily Abbood, Tara Arolla, Tori Harrison and Vail Horn. Abbood leads the team in ground balls and caused turnovers, while Horn is ranked third on the team in goals and fourth in assists this year.

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