Cal lacrosse hopes to end 4-game losing streak to start 2019 season

Lacrosse player runs with the ball in her stick.
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Cal lacrosse is off to a rough start to the 2019 season, with its first two weekends of nonconference play both ending winless. This weekend, the Bears will be hungry to end the losing streak as they take on UC Davis on Friday at home, with the game scheduled to begin at 5 p.m.

Cal’s defense will have to step up big if the Bears want to improve this season. The team is currently being outscored 56-37 by opponents throughout the first four games.

On the offensive end, the Bears have surrendered 80 turnovers already this year, hurting their chances of getting points on the board. The team has had more turnovers than the opposition in each of their four matches this season, which is certainly not a formula for winning games.

The Aggies have a better record than the Bears and are 2-2 on the season, but UC Davis has played less prestigious competition thus far. The only similarity between the two teams’ schedules is that they both hosted Michigan two weeks ago.

UC Davis was unable to score many goals against the Wolverines, getting only five shots past the keeper — the Bears were able to double that, with 10 goals against Michigan. Both teams, however, surrendered a large number of goals on their own end, with Cal letting in 15 shots and the Aggies allowing 17.

If the Michigan game and overall schedule strength are any indicators, Cal should be favored to win this matchup against UC Davis. The Bears’ tough schedule early on should give them better experience going into the match and hopefully will play out in their favor.

For Cal, redshirt junior Kirsten Swanson and senior Caroline Corzel lead the way in scoring, with seven goals and two assists each. The team captains have been pulling their weight, but they’re not the only ones, as five Bears have seven or more points this season.

Defensively, senior Kendall Swenson is leading the charge going into Friday’s match. She has a team-high eight caused turnovers to go along with five ground balls on the season.

UC Davis has only scored 45 goals this season and let in 59 goals from opposing teams. The team’s defensive struggles are even worse than Cal’s, as the Aggies have let in three more goals than the Bears against far weaker teams. Cal should hope to capitalize on this defensive trouble with its experienced offense.

The Bears will also be looking to stop junior Amanda Outcalt, who has already recorded six goals and nine assists for the Aggies. Her dominance early on has helped lead the team to its two victories.

Cal will need to come out motivated to take home its first victory of the season. If the Bears can bring in a win at California Memorial Stadium, they should hope to keep rolling in the right direction as conference play approaches.

Jack Whaley covers lacrosse. Contact him at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @_jackdouglas_.