Daily Archives: March 31, 2010

Western College Lacrosse: UC Santa Barbara Women’s And Men’s Lacrosse Teams Are Both 6-4 And Playing Their Best Lacrosse Of The 2010 Season

….the UC Santa Barbara men’s and women’s lacrosse teams were fighting for supremacy in their respective leagues. On March 6, the second-ranked women took a tough 12-11 loss from first ranked Santa Clara, but rebounded a week later with a dominating 14-5 victory over 7th ranked UCLA on March 12 to move to 10-1 on the season. After a slow start to the season, the men extended their win streak to five with three straight March wins before falling to Arizona State in their most recent game. The loss brought their record to 6-4 overall.

Senior midfielder Maggie Aker of the women’s lacrosse team rushes past a defender. Aker notched two goals against both #1 Santa Clara and #7 UCLA. JARRICK GOLDHAMER / DAILY NEXUS

When #1 Santa Clara arrived in Santa Barbara, the Gauchos knew they were in for a fight. Both UCSB and the Broncos were unbeaten at the time, and neither seemed interested in getting a notch in the loss column. SC opened the scoring in the first five minutes, capitalizing on a dropped pass by the Gauchos in Bronco territory. UCSB answered by scoring three unanswered goals, but after that neither team was able to gain a significant advantage. After one half of play, the Gauchos, who played a superb defensive half and gave it all they had against Santa Clara’s two-time All-American goalie, nursed a 6-5 lead.

“It was our best defensive game of the year, and it came at the right time, Head Coach Paul Ramsey said. “If we hadn’t [played well defensively] we’d have been in a deep hole all game.”

The pace of the game did not change in the second half. Both teams fought tooth and nail for every possession and each goal. With one minute left in the game and the Broncos up 12-10, Santa Barbara senior midfielder Maggie Aker scored to bring the Gauchos within one goal of overtime, but the effort fell just short as the final whistle sounded. Though sophomore goalie Jeni Centner had matched Santa Clara’s goalie with 16 saves, the Gauchos were outshot 39-29 and won fewer draws and ground balls than the Broncos.

“We won only three of 12 draws in the first half and five of 13 in the second half,” Ramsey said.” To even be close in a game like that means we outplayed them everywhere else.”

Six days later, the Gauchos took the field to face the seventh-ranked Bruins, and played as if the tough loss to Santa Clara had never happened. Santa Barbara came out and scored four times before the Bruins knew what hit them, and ended up outscoring UCLA 7-3 in the first half. The Bruins scored first early in the second half, but were shut out for the next 24 minutes as the Gauchos went on a seven-goal run. UCSB went on to decimate the Bruins in a 14-5 victory, due in part to All-American attacker Samantha Lutz, who, in her second game back from injury led all scorers with two goals and four assists.

“We’re deeper now on offense, but the rest of the season will certainly not get easier,” Ramsey said.

Freshman midfielder C.J. Jacobs readies a shot. The men’s lacrosse team has picked up its play after a slow start, winning five of their last six games. JARRICK GOLDHAMER / DAILY NEXUS

After building momentum for the first time all season with back-to-back wins at UCLA and USD, the men’s lacrosse team looked to continue their success at home against Sonoma State on March 6. After outscoring Sonoma 3-1 in the first half, UCSB did not lose a step in the second period and cruised on to a 9-5 win to send the Seawolves packing. Days later, UCSB held the University of Florida to just one goal in the first half while scoring seven of their own. In the second half UCSB was actually outscored by one, but the effort was too little too late on Florida’s part, and the Gauchos locked down a 15-10 win. Senior faceoff specialist Jake Kozonis was instrumental in the victory, winning 16 faceoffs by game’s end to give the Gauchos a number of pivotal possessions.

“Our face off team is an important part of our game plan, and any time you can keep the ball out of the other team’s hands you are doing something right,” Head Coach Mario Waibel said.

On March 23, the Gauchos earned a 9-4 victory against the University of Arizona. Though the Wildcats outshot UCSB 35-30, senior goalie Zack Carson made 19 saves to secure the win. Two days later, Santa Barbara’s momentum snapped at Arizona State as the Sun Devils outscored UCSB 9-2 in the first half. Though the Gauchos managed to get back on their feet and play the second half to a 5-5 tie, they were unable to mount a true comeback attempt and left the field after a 14-7 loss.

“These guys are battle tested against top competition and keep growing from each experience,” Waibel said.

The men, who are now 6-4 after starting the season 1-3, have four games left in the regular season, all of which are division games. Their next game is at home on Saturday against Claremont. The women have just two games left in their regular season. Their next game is also on Saturday, but will be at #4 Cal Poly.


NCAA Women’s Lacrosse: Maryland Women’s Lacrosse Midfielders And Sisters Brandi And Brittany Jones (Poway, CA) Have Combined For 23 Goals And 19 Assists For 2010 Terps

It wasn’t Brandi Jones’ idea for her big sister Brittany to join her on Maryland’s women’s lacrosse team.

Maryland Women's Lacrosse senior midfielder Brittany Jones (Poway High School, Poway,CA)

When Brandi signed with the Terrapins three years ago, she expected to be setting off on her own to college 3,000 miles from a close-knit family in suburban San Diego.

Then Terps coach Cathy Reese saw the club national finals on TV and spotted Brittany. Watching the Cal Poly sophomore with the quickest first step she had ever seen score eight goals in a title game, Reese decided to double up on her Jones recruits.

“I called Brandi up and I said, ‘Hey, does your sister want to come to Maryland?’ ”

“I was like, ‘Ha ha,’ ” Brandi said. “Then I was like, ‘Are you serious?’ ”

Brandi loved the idea and started working on her sister, who resisted at first.

“But I slowly broke her down,” Brandi, 20, said with a laugh.

Said Brittany, 23: “It was crazy. She probably asked me two times, and I said, ‘No. Not happening,’ just because I loved Cal Poly. Lacrosse was fun there. It was competitive, but it wasn’t Division I, so we just sat down and talked about it [with their parents] and finally I said, ‘OK, this is really going to happen,’ and it did.”

So Brittany and Brandi set out together and are now integral parts of an undefeated Terps team that is ranked No. 2 in the country heading into tonight’s home game against No. 7 Towson and has high hopes for a second straight appearance in the national semifinals.

They’ve combined for 23 goals, 19 assists and loads of work in the midfield. More than anything, it’s just really hard to keep up with these Joneses. In a sport that moves blazingly fast, they are faster.

That gave them an edge in a game they didn’t play until they got to Poway High School. They grew up with soccer and basketball, but when their older sister Janelle tried lacrosse, she persuaded them to try it, too.

“The game is so fast, and a lot of it is similar to soccer. I knew we were all very similar and really competitive and they’re both extremely fast. I knew they would be good at it,” said Janelle, who played on four championship teams at Cal Poly, two with Brittany.

Added Reese: “Both of these girls are such good athletes that they’re good in everything they do. We’ll sometimes play basketball in practice, and they’re two of the best basketball players on our team. I think coming here they’ve learned more about lacrosse in terms of X’s and O’s and they picked up the stick skills and the game, but their overall fitness and athleticism has been able to give them a leg up.”

When Poway coach Kate Robinson told Brandi she was good enough to play college lacrosse at the highest level, the 2007 San Diego Union-Tribune Player of the Year and Under Armour All-American was a bit skeptical. Sure the California girls were athletic, but she knew their skills didn’t have the polish of the East Coast girls.

Robinson knew all about East Coast lacrosse. She grew up in it and played at Maryland. She knew what the top coaches were looking for, and Brandi had it. So did Brittany.

“They reminded me a lot of the players that Maryland recruits and that Northwestern does,” she said. “They look for a good athlete who has a lot of speed, and they’re like, ‘We can teach you the rest.’ [At Poway] we did a lot of stick work. That’s all they needed. They were so fast, I was jealous.”

Once in College Park, the sisters adjusted so quickly that they played a lot their first year and started last season.

“I think our speed eased us into the transition,” Brandi said.

Added Brittany: “I like fast, and everyone’s fast. In high school, a handful of us were really fast and we could get by without having to have good stick skills. That’s kind of how it was for me at Cal Poly as well. Not that we didn’t have any, but not quite what they have here. Once we got used to that, we improved our stick skills as we went.”

Attacker Karri Ellen Johnson, Brandi’s roommate, said it was hard to believe they had played only a few months each year.

“You’d think since they were out west and Maryland is such a hotbed of lacrosse that they’d be a step behind,” Johnson said, “but their transition’s great, they’re both very athletic and they’re very dynamic.”

Despite their many similarities, each plays the game a little differently.

“We are different in how we move,” Brandi said. “We’re both quick, but Brittany’s really quick in 360, so she can go forward, step back then to the side really quick changing directions. I’m more go hard, quick move, bye.”

While Brandi loves to say bye to those defenders, she won’t be so happy to say bye to her sister. Brittany is finishing her final year of eligibility, while Brandi has one more year with the Terps. After graduation, Brittany will return to San Diego, where she is lining up a job.

For three years, however, they enjoyed each other’s company and leaned on each other while so far from home.

“Having an older sister who’s really cautious and planned when I’m kind of the opposite, we balance each other out perfectly,” Brandi said. “When we first got here, she was like, ‘Did you look up your classes?’ and I was like, “Oh, yeah’ – that kind of stuff, like the morning of [the first class], I would have been writing a map on my hand, but she had a printed map with a highlighted track to where she’s going. Our family’s really close, so having a family member that I got to bring with me made it so much better.”


MCLA College Men’s Lacrosse: Simon Fraser Men’s Lacrosse (2-5) Defeated Cal Poly 9-8 In Overtime March 27

The SFU Clan field lacrosse team spotted Cal Poly a 2-0 lead in the first quarter but fought back to beat the 11th-ranked Mustangs 9-8 in overtime in their Collegiate Lacrosse League match Saturday at Mercer Stadium in New Westminster.

SFU Clan attacker Chris Tessarolo tries to work his way around Cal Poly defender Alex Berceau in the first quarter of their collegiate lacrosse game, Saturday at Mercer Stadium in New Westminster. MARIO BARTEL/NEWSLEADER

Ben Towner, a senior out of Terry Fox Secondary in Port Coquitlam, led the Clan with four goals and a pair of assists. Adam Foss had a pair of goals.

The Clan led the game 3-2 at the half and managed to build that to an 8-5 advantage heading into the final quarter. But then it was the Mustangs turn to battle back, as they scored three straight goals to send the game into overtime.

The win was only the Clan’s second of the season, against five losses. The defending Pacific Northwest Collegiate Lacrosse League champions are currently in fifth place in the six-team first division. But they’ll face a tough test in their next match, against the unbeaten Chapman Panthers, on Saturday in Lake Oswego, Oregon.

Date Opponent Result
3/05 at Colorado State   L,  12-6
3/07 at Colorado   L,  17-7
3/12 at Michigan   L,  22-10
3/14 at Michigan State   L,  12-9
3/20 BRIGHAM YOUNG   L,  15-9
3/27 CAL POLY – SLO   W, 9-8 (OT)
4/03 vs. Chapman 7:00 pm
4/04 vs. Arizona State 1:00 pm
4/10 OREGON STATE 1:00 pm
4/11 OREGON 1:00 pm
4/16 at Montana 4:00 pm
4/18 vs. Washington 1:00 pm
Coach: Hoskins & Cathrea


NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Highlights: Drexel Men’s Lacrosse Defeated #8 Lafayette 12-11 On March 28 (Video)

The Drexel Dragons stole the win Sunday with 15 seconds left in regulation, downing the Lafayette Leopards 12-11.

NCAA Women’s Lacrosse: Cal Berkeley Women’s Lacrosse (3-6) Returns From East Coast Road Trip To Play Denver And Stanford This Weekend

California returns home after a long East Coast road trip to host Mountain Pacific Sports Federation opponents Denver and Stanford. The Golden Bears, who have a 3-6 overall record (0-1 in the MPSF), battle the Pioneers (7-4, 1-0 MPSF) at noon on Friday, April 2, and take on the rival and 12th-ranked Cardinal (5-4, 0-0 MPSF) at 1 p.m. on Sunday, April 4. Cal will honor its seniors – DennaFaye Herald, Alyse Kennedy, Catie O’Mahoney and Alex Tickner – prior to the Stanford game as part of Senior Day.

Cal has a 10-6 record in the all-time series with Denver and a 6-19 mark in the all-time series with the Cardinal. The Bears lost both of their matches against their rival last year, falling 13-4 in the regular season and 18-13 in the conference tournament final. Cal lost to Denver, 11-10, in the 2009 regular season.

Scouting the Golden Bears
Cal split its last four games. The Bears defeated Quinnipiac, 11-9, in the trip’s first game on March 19 in Hamden, Conn., and then beat George Mason, 15-11, on March 28 in Fairfax, Va. Alex Tickner had a strong all-around game against the Patriots, scoring two goals and notching five caused turnovers and five ground balls. Junior midfielder Chapin Jackson, who played her first game of the year against Quinnipiac after being sidelined with an injury, also grabbed five ground balls against GMU.

In between those wins, Cal lost to Fairfield, 18-14, on March 21 in Fairfield, Conn., and to then-No. 17 William and Mary, 10-8, on March 24 in Williamsburg, Va.

Cal’s statistical leaders include sophomore attacker Allie Welsh (25 points, 11 assists), Alyse Kennedy (20 goals; 19 draw controls; 2 gamewinning goals) and junior goalkeeper Allie Shropshire (28 ground balls; 13.20 goals-against average). The Bears, who put all 20 of their shots on goal against GMU, lead the conference in shooting percentage at .500.

Theresa Sherry is in her third year at the helm of the Golden Bears’ program.

Scouting the Pioneers
In its last two games, Denver beat George Mason, 17-9, and lost to Albany, 11-10.

Senior midfielder Lexi Sanders, the current MPSF Player of the Week, leads the Pioneers in points (43) and assists (29), while senior midfielder Ali Flury paces them in goals (33) and ranks second in points (35). In the conference stat charts, Sanders leads the way in points per game (3.91) and assists per game (2.64), while Flury is tied for the MPSF lead in goals per game (3.00). Sophomore goalie Ashley Harman, one of the 2009 MPSF Co-Newcomers of the Year, paces Denver with 26 ground balls and has compiled a conference-best 9.05 GAA in 11 games.

Liza Kelly is in her fourth year as Denver’s head coach.

Scouting the Cardinal
Stanford, the five-time defending MPSF champion, has played a difficult 2010 schedule that has included six nationally ranked opponents so far. After playing host to Hofstra on Wednesday, March 31, the Cardinal opens MPSF action when it plays at Fresno State on April 2 before playing at Cal on Sunday. The Cardinal had a two-game losing skid prior to its Hofstra game, after losing road games to then No. 2 Maryland, 20-8, on March 25 and to then-No. 10 Towson, 10-9, on March 28.

Junior attacker/midfielder Sarah Flynn, who leads Stanford in points (23), scored two goals against the Terrapins and collected one goal and one assist against Towson. Flynn is tied with Dana Lindsay for the team high in goals (18), while senior attacker Claire Hubbard paces Stanford with 18 assists. Junior Annie Read has an 11.24 GAA after playing every minute in goal for the Cardinal.

Amy Bokker is in her first year as Stanford’s head coach.

Next Week
Cal begins another stretch of four road games when it plays MPSF opponent Oregon at 7 p.m. on April 9 in Eugene, Ore.