This week is primed to be a memorable week for the California women’s lacrosse program. The Golden Bears welcome Oregon first to Kabam Field at Memorial Stadium for a game that will be televised live on the Pac-12 Networks. The Bears will face the Ducks on Thursday, April 3, at 7 p.m. Cal (2-6, 1-2 MPSF) will then honor its seniors for Senior Day as well as honoring former players with a 15-year anniversary halftime ceremony when the Bears host USC on Sunday, April 6, at 1 p.m.
At the halfway point of the season, the Bears have three players tied at the top of the team leaderboard with 21 points each – Paige Gasparino, Gaby Christman and Bella Huther. Huther, a true freshman, has scored all of her points with goals. Lizz Lavie leads the team in assists with 12, while Nicole Beck is right behind her with 10. Christman leads the team in draws (29), ground balls (16) and caused turnovers (17).
A Look at the 2014 Golden Bears
• The Bears have struggled to pick up wins recently, entering Thursday’s contest on a four-game losing streak. Cal had a three-game East Coast road trip last week and suffered a pair of tough losses to La Salle (10-6) and Lehigh (9-7) before Yale beat the Bears, 17-6.
• Through the first half of the season, Bella Huther is Cal’s leader in goals with 21 (3rd in the MPSF). She scored four times in the season opener against Saint Mary’s, and tallied five more goals against San Diego State Her performance against SDSU led her to be named the MPSF Rookie of the Week on March 3. It was her first weekly honor and Cal’s first weekly conference honor this season. During Cal’s East Coast road trip last week, Huther scored seven goals in the three games, including four against La Salle. She has scored at least two goals in four of Cal’s last five games.
• In addition to the production from Huther, Gaby Christman and Paige Gasparino are tied with Huther for the team lead in points with 21. Christman has 17 goals while Gasparino has 14 with seven assists. Gasparino tallied a hat trick and an assist in Cal’s most-recent victory against Siena. Christman is also the team leader in three other categories – draws (29), ground balls (16) and caused turnovers (17).
• While Huther, Gasparino and Christman have been scoring most of the goals this season, Lizz Lavie (12) and Nicole Beck (10) are the team assist leaders thus far. Beck also has five goals this season.
• Head coach Ginger Miles is in her third season as head coach at Cal. She previously coached Claremont-Mudd-Scripps for two seasons, leading CMS to NCAA Tournament second-round appearances both years. The Bears have been in the MPSF Tournament in both of her previous seasons at Cal, and Miles also guided former standout Megan Takacs to become the first All-American in the history of the program.
• Oregon is currently 5-4, picking up a 10-5 win at Cincinnati in its most-recent game.
• The Ducks’ leading scorers thus far are Shannon Propst (44 points – 20 goals, 24 assists) and Carly O’Connell (41 points – 18 goals, 23 assists).
• Defensively, O’Connell has notched 48 draws, 15 ground balls and 14 caused turnovers, while Nikki Puszcz has 20 draws, 14 ground balls and 13 caused turnovers.
• Keeper Caroline Federighi has a save percentage of .483 and a goals-against average of 7.67.
• USC is currently 5-4, picking up MPSF wins over San Diego State and Fresno State in its most-recent contests.
• The Trojans’ leading scorers thus far are Caroline de Lyra (22 points – 12 goals, 10 assists) and Alex Moore (18 points – 16 goals, 2 assists).
• Defensively, Amanda Johansen has notched 27 draws, 14 ground balls and seven caused turnovers, while Michaela Michael has 20 draws, eight ground balls and two caused turnovers.
• Keeper Liz Shaeffer has a save percentage of .325 and a goals-against average of 10.00.
Cal Lacrosse Set To Celebrate 15-Year Anniversary
Cal fans are invited to come celebrate the 15-year anniversary of California women’s lacrosse on Sunday, April 6, prior to Cal’s 1 p.m. game vs. USC. The event starts at 11 a.m. at the Lisa and Douglas Goldman Plaza. Pregame festivities include food, photo sessions, raffles and much more. Also included will be a tour of the Simpson Center for Student-Athlete High Performance. Please contact Associate Director of Development Brian Raney for more information – (510) 643-0888, email@example.com.
Huther Sparks Cal’s Offense
True freshman Bella Huther has emerged as Cal’s leader in goals with 21 (third in the MPSF). She scored four times in the season opener against Saint Mary’s, and tallied five more goals against San Diego State. Her performance against SDSU led her to be named the MPSF Rookie of the Week on March 3. It was her first weekly honor and Cal’s first weekly conference honor this season. During Cal’s East Coast road trip last week, Huther scored seven goals in the three games, including four against La Salle. She has scored at least two goals in four of Cal’s last five games.