Cal lacrosse has embarrassing weekend, drops games to Oregon, Colorado

A lacrosse player runs with the ball in his stick as another opponent player runs after her.
Karen Chow /File

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The Bears’ bye week didn’t seem to help the team prepare for Oregon and Colorado this past weekend, as Cal lacrosse came back from the road trip 0-2. The Bears now sit at 6-10, the same record they had last year 16 games into the season.

Cal will hope to get at least one more win this season, as the team’s final regular-season game will be against Stanford before the Pac-12 Tournament. Since Brooke Eubanks became head coach, the team has improved by one win each season, so it would be fun to see the steady growth continue if Cal can reach seven wins this year.

The Bears are now 3-3 in away games, a solid number for a team that has a losing record. The 0-2 weekend is a disappointing one for Cal, especially the loss to Oregon.

The Ducks’ 12-8 victory over Cal was the first conference victory for Oregon this season. The Ducks are still in last place in the Pac-12 with a 1-8 conference record. Cal’s loss to Oregon is disappointing to fans but not surprising given Cal Athletics’ inconsistent history.

Cal came out strong with the first goal of the match, but Oregon scored four straight in the middle of the first half and never looked back.

Redshirt junior Kirsten Swanson led Cal with three goals on nine shots, another solid outing for her this season.

Cal actually had way more shots than Oregon on Friday, beating the Ducks 30-22 in that category, but it once again came down to the Bears not being able to capitalize on their opportunities. Oregon freshman goalkeeper Rachel Hall had 12 saves to Cal senior Jenny Wilkens’ four, showing the impact a goalie can have on a game.

The matchup against Oregon should have been a guaranteed win for Cal, and now the team will have to struggle to have an improved record from last year. After the draining defeat Friday, Cal headed to Colorado to take on the Buffaloes, falling 15-6.

Colorado lost to Stanford by only one point Friday, bringing the Buffaloes to 6-2 in conference play before Sunday’s matchup with Cal. Colorado had a chip on its shoulder after suffering a close loss to the Cardinal and showed that in its blowout against the Bears.

The Buffaloes came out extremely aggressively, scoring the first five goals of the contest until Cal finally answered back more than 12 minutes into the game. The early domination continued to be the story of the game, as Cal never gained even a bit of momentum in the competition.

Swanson recorded her second hat trick of the weekend against Colorado, continuing her personal hot streak on the offensive end. Cal sophomore Nikki Zaccaro was the playmaker for the Bears on Sunday, recording three assists. Two of the assists led to Swanson’s goals.

Sophomore Marisa Kuberra also led the team in draws with a career-high nine and helped the team win 17 draws to Colorado’s five. A strong performance on the draws should be at least one positive note for the Bears to reflect on from this outing.

The weekend is one for the Bears to learn from as the Pac-12 Tournament comes closer. The team will have a lot to improve upon if Cal wishes to go far in the tournament and make its name known.

Cal will remain on the road for their final game of the season as the Bears’ next chance to reach their seventh win on the year will be against Stanford on Friday.

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