Cal lacrosse takes to the East Coast for its final two games before conference play starts, taking on George Washington on Friday and Mount St. Mary’s on Sunday. The Bears will hope to go 2-0 on the weekend and finish 3-4 in nonconference play after a rough 0-4 start.
“Our goal is to end nonconference play 3-4 at this point,” said Cal head coach Brooke Eubanks. “That’s the best-case scenario, and I think we’re definitely capable of it. We need to stay focused, determined on the things we need to improve upon.”
The Bears’ unfortunate 0-4 start to this season was snapped Friday when Cal beat UC Davis with a final score of 16-13. The close win may be what Cal needed moving forward as the team inches closer to its first conference game against Oregon in a week.
The first team Cal will have to beat this weekend on its way to accomplishing this short-term goal is George Washington, who also won its first game of the season over the last weekend. The Colonials are now 1-2 on the season but have lost by only a combined 3 points in their two losses.
Freshman Tori Hampton leads the way for the Colonials with 10 points this season, a decent number throughout only three games. George Washington has had an even distribution of goals and assists this season, so the Bears will have to pay close attention to film to figure out who to shut down and how to stop the Colonials’ offense.
The Bears will hope to have a good defensive outing against the Colonials, as Cal’s defense has suffered so far this season. The game against George Washington will begin at 11 a.m. PST on Friday.
The Bears will have their second matchup of the weekend against Mount St. Mary’s early in the morning Sunday at 9 a.m. PST. Mount St. Mary’s is currently 2-1 on the season, and contrasting Cal and George Washington, the team suffered its first loss in its previous match.
The team is outscoring opponents 35-20 this year, so the Bears will have a lot on their hands both offensively and defensively. Similarly to George Washington, the Mountaineers have had a wide variety of scorers in their games, making it hard for the Bears to scope out who will be important to stop on defense.
Eubanks had a lot to say about the importance of having multiple scorers and how difficult it can be to scheme against.
“Our goal is all seven people on the field can score and be a threat,” Eubanks said. “It’s not about who — it’s just about what opportunities we have.”
The Bears are led by senior Caroline Corzel who enters the weekend with 11 goals and two assists. Senior Eliza Christman is the only other Bear with double-digit goals, boasting 10 so far on the season.
Senior Kirsten Swanson has contributed 12 points this season with nine goals and three assists. Junior Susie Ropp and sophomore Marisa Kubera have each contributed 9 points for Cal, showing how evenly spread the Cal offense can turn out to be as the season progresses.
This trip will be the Bears’ first time in the East Coast this year and also their first time playing a true road game as their other two road games were hosted at a neutral sight. Cal will hope that the goals keep coming and that the team can get two wins this weekend with the Pac-12 conference play just on the horizon.