The Cal lacrosse team took on UC Davis on Friday, bringing in a much-needed win for the previously 0-4 team. The Bears finished the game ahead by a three-goal margin, stealing a 16-13 victory.
This matchup was won on the offensive end, as Cal posted a season high in goals and a season low in turnovers. The Bears came out hungry, netting 10 goals in the first half and taking a five-goal lead into halftime.
“My goal is always to have it difficult for the other team to figure out who they’re going to scout,” said Cal head coach Brooke Eubanks. “I think that only happens when you have the entire group scoring a similar amount of points, and today we had seven point-getters — that’s huge.”
Senior Caroline Corzel was responsible for half of the Bears’ first-half points, as she scored four goals and assisted another in the opening period, while redshirt juniors Kirsten Swanson and Eliza Christman boasted hat tricks, with three goals each on the evening.
The Bears’ success on offense is not to take away from their defensive aptitude in this game — they held the Aggies to 13 goals, tying San Diego State and Denver for the fewest goals scored this season.
“Our mentality defensively was just really to try to hold positioning and take calculated risks,” Eubanks said.
The team did just that, causing the Aggies to turn over the ball 15 times, while the Bears only surrendered eight of their own turnovers. The team’s discipline in this game and ability to smartly take advantage of opportunities paid off, and the team will hope to see more of the same results in the future as it nears the end of nonconference play.
The three-goal victory wasn’t an easy one, though, for Cal. The Aggies went on a 4-0 run starting at the 19:14 mark in the second half, cutting the Bears’ lead down to only one point with less than 15 minutes to go.
With four goals in five minutes for the Aggies, it seemed inevitable that the Bears would let the lead slip. Swanson had other ideas, though, as she netted her third goal of the game with just over 12 minutes left.
The goal kept the Bears at a two-point lead, but Aggies sophomore Maddie Myers answered back quickly with another just two minutes later, narrowing Cal’s lead back down to one. Cal would go on to score three more in a row before UC Davis netted the final shot with less than four minutes left to play.
The Bears now sit at 1-4 on the season with the chance to finish nonconference play with a 3-4 record, should they not lose another game. The victory was an important one for Cal, which will hope the game can propel the team into next week’s matches with a winning mentality.
“Obviously, with a win, it can give you confidence, especially since we’ve had some close, tough losses,” Eubanks said. “It’s not something we need to hang our hat on, though, because we still have a lot of work to do.”
The coach’s attitude to get out there and continuously improve is a positive sign for the Bears, as they’ll hope to come home victorious again next weekend. The Bears will head to the East Coast for their next two matches, playing George Washington and Mount St. Mary’s as the final two games before conference play.