Daily Archives: November 1, 2008

University of Oregon Women’s Lacrosse Completes Challenging Fall Schedule


 “It was really intense. We did a lot of mixing of lines and gave players equal time, and I was pleased with how some people stepped up and how the freshmen went after the challenge.”


EUGENE, Ore. — Lacrosse season may be more than three months away, but for the University of Oregon preparation began in earnest at the beginning of October.

“This fall was designed to acclimate the freshman to Division 1 Lacrosse and give them a little bit of practice to prepare them for tough competition,” said Jen Larsen, now in her fifth year as head coach. “It was really intense. We did a lot of mixing of lines and gave players equal time, and I was pleased with how some people stepped up and how the freshmen went after the challenge.”

It’s difficult to simulate regular season conditions, but the Ducks planned travel and scheduled competition on a level to give the newcomers a taste of what they can expect come February.

“We had east coast travel and we also had conference play, because that’s what we want to prep them for,” Larsen said. “I was pleased to see the freshmen handle it so well. Overall, It was a good, successful fall.“

2009 signals an important milestone in the evolution of NCAA women’s lacrosse at Oregon as the first class of Ducks will complete their college eligibility. Fifth-year senior captains Anna Poponyak and Cara Mead represent the final members of Larson’s foundation for the program.

“I would say this year is as challenging as four years ago, when we first had that first class coming in,” Larsen said. “What’s nice and different about this year is we have three classes that have already competed in Division I, so their practice level is much more intense and they play at a higher level.

“Also we have leaders on our roster right now, who are showing the freshmen on a daily basis what it means to be on the field.

The Ducks began ‘Fall Ball’ back east, taking on Maryland and Loyola in back-to-back games in early October. Nothing like getting back into game shape against a pair of powerful programs to start your practice season.

“Our heads were spinning at that point,” Larsen said. “Those teams are both very high caliber, and ones we are striving to be like. We wanted to be on the field with them to see how much further we need to go.”

The next day it was off to the State of Virginia to face James Madison as part of a fundraising event.

“We were actually able to regroup ourselves rather quickly,” Larsen said. “We witnessed better play by the Ducks – a lot more competitive – but we were still trying to get used to that higher pace. You’re not really keeping score in these types of events, but we needed to execute a lot better.”

The Ducks returned to Eugene and were immediately able to apply some of the lessons learned from the road trip to practice. Over the course of the next two weeks, the upperclassmen and newcomers started to blend together and become a team.

Oregon finished off its team workouts with a trip to Stanford and the Bay Area. Against the Cardinal, both teams agreed to add a third period after two running halves to provide the freshmen with more exposure.

“I just started the freshmen, and they did awesome,” Larsen said.

The final day of competition took place at Cal, where Oregon trained against St. Mary’s, UC Davis and Cal. After a long bus trip home, Larsen deemed the weekend a success.

“We saw some quality stuff from our team. The freshmen came away with an understanding that they are Ducks now, and they are expected to play at the same level as the rest of their teammates.”

Oregon opens the 2009 season at home on Feb. 7 against Stanford.

Stanford Women’s Lacrosse 2009 Schedule Announced

“It’s always been my philosophy to put yourself against the best during the season, so you go into the postseason ready to play,” Bokker said.


STANFORD, Calif. – The Stanford women’s lacrosse team faces what must be regarded as one of the most demanding schedules in school history, when it begins play for the 2009 season in February. First-year coach Amy Bokker announced a schedule that will include three East Coast trips and games against four 2008 NCAA tournament teams.

“It’s always been my philosophy to put yourself against the best during the season, so you go into the postseason ready to play,” Bokker said.

That’s no lie. Of the Cardinal’s 10 nonconference opponents, eight had winning records last season. The other two each went 8-9. Among Stanford’s opponents are NCAA 2008 runner-up Penn, semifinalist Syracuse, quarterfinalist Maryland, and Notre Dame, another NCAA tournament team. Stanford plays all four on the road. Those four teams were a combined 32-4 at home last season.

Stanford begins the season with a pair of Mountain Pacific Sports Federation games, at Oregon Feb. 7 and with a home opener Feb. 12 against first-year program Fresno State, which will be playing its first-ever road game.

As difficult as the schedule is, Stanford went a combined 8-4 last year against their 2009 opponents. And against those tournament teams, Stanford went 2-1, including a stunning 10-8 home victory over Penn. The Quakers only other loss came in the NCAA final. Stanford also beat Notre Dame, 13-9.

Highlighting the home schedule will be William & Mary, which was captained last season by new Stanford assistant Jaime Sellers, and Louisville, a 12-4 team a year ago. Stanford, 12-8 last year, also will play host to the MPSF tournament April 23-26 at Laird Q. Cagan Stadium. The Cardinal is the four-time defending conference champion.

Date    Opponent/Event        Location            Time

02/01   Cal Playday           Berkeley            All Day
02/07   at Oregon *           Eugene, Ore.        1:00 p.m.
02/12   vs. Fresno State *    Stanford            7:00 p.m.
02/17   vs. Albany NY         Stanford            6:00 p.m.
02/20   vs. Syracuse          Stanford            3:00 p.m.
02/25   at UC Davis *         Davis               7:00 p.m.
02/28   at Notre Dame         South Bend, Ind.   10:00 a.m.

03/06   at Saint Mary's *     Moraga              4:00 p.m.
03/08   vs. William & Mary    Stanford            3:00 p.m.
03/27   at Johns Hopkins      Baltimore, Md.      1:00 p.m.
03/29   at Maryland           College Park, Md.   9:00 a.m.

04/10   vs. Denver *          Stanford            5:00 p.m.
04/12   vs. California *      Stanford            3:00 p.m.
04/17   at Davidson           Davidson, N.C.      3:00 p.m.
04/19   at North Carolina     Chapel Hill, N.C.  10:00 a.m.
04/23   MPSF Tournament *     Stanford             TBA
04/30   vs. Louisville        Stanford            3:00 p.m.

05/02   at Penn               Philadelphia, Pa.   10:00 a.m. PT

All times Pacific