Cal Makes It Rain Through First Half of 13-10 Win

Kevin Foote/Staff

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The Cal lacrosse team must not believe in bad omens. As long as it was raining in Berkeley, the goals kept pouring in for the Bears.

Cal, playing in its first home match in nearly a month, didn't allow the wet conditions to dampen their excitement over returning to Witter Field. The squad jumped out to their best start of the season to date and held on to an early lead for a 13-10 nonconference victory over Lafayette College last night.

In the midst of a torrential downpour, Cal (4-3, 2-0 in MPSF) began aggressively and scored two goals within the first 70 seconds of play. The Bears had their way with the Leopard (1-5) defense for the next 25 minutes, as five different players racked up a season-high nine first-half goals while shooting at a fantastic .600 percentage.

"We were able to rebound back after our loss last week and do a much better job of finishing our shots in the first half," Cal coach Theresa Sherry said.

The Bears' run culminated in a score off a well executed play that demonstrated the improved fluidity of Cal's offense. Junior attacker Tara Arolla, dodging the sticks of two defenders, found an open Alex Rozelle as she curled around a screening teammate. The sophomore attacker flipped the ball into the back of the net for the second of her three goals.

Leading 9-2 with three minutes left in the period, the Bears looked to be in control of the match. That's when the rain stopped. And the drought began.

Lafayette took advantage of sloppy Cal play and closed out the first half with three unanswered points to make the score 9-5. Neither team was able to score for over 15 minutes in the second period.

Cal sophomore midfielder Megan Takacs finally broke through with an unassisted goal to put her team up by five. Takacs led the Bears with four points -- three goals and an assist.

"Megan did well for us running the midfield, being a workhorse," Sherry said.

The Leopards outdueled Cal in the second half, outshooting the Bears 12 to 11 and winning seven of 10 draw controls. This allowed Lafayette to outscore Cal, 5-4.

Twice within the last ten minutes, the Leopards pulled within three points of Cal and had opportunities to narrow the gap further with free position shots off defensive fouls. Both times, goalkeeper Allie Shropshire made saves which shifted the momentum back to the Bears and allowed the team to hold onto the victory. The senior finished with six saves and a forced turnover.

Although Cal started strong, their inability to play a complete game almost cost them last night. Sherry believes the team's consistency will improve as the underclassmen gain experience.

"We had a very young team out there and I think you could really see that, especially in the second half, letting them back in," she said. "Hopefully we can clear that up in the next few games."


Jennifer Hansen covers lacrosse. Contact her at [email protected]

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