Cal Closes Spring Break Trip With Three-Game Win Streak

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Pennsylvania may not be nicknamed the Friendship State, but it sure made a friend in the Cal lacrosse team this past week.

The Bears (8-4, 2-0 in MPSF) won all three of their nonconference matches in the Keystone State to finish their spring break road trip with a 3-1 record and their longest winning streak of the season.

After a lackluster performance in a 16-4 rout by Ohio State on March 20, the Bears traveled to Philadelphia hoping for friendlier conditions.

The City of Brotherly Love didn't disappoint. Cal squeaked out two consecutive one-point margin victories over Drexel and La Salle on Wednesday and Frida, respectively.

The team slayed the Dragons, 9-8, in the midweek game behind a career high four goals from sophomore midfielder Melissa Humphrey. Two days later the Bears overcame a late two goal deficit to take down the Explorers, 10-9.

Despite being on its last leg of an East Coast swing, Cal showed no signs of fatigue when it capped off the trip with a dominating 11-2 win over Villanova on Sunday morning.

In an entire team effort, the Bears scored the first 11 goals of the game and didn't allow the Wildcats (4-4) to score until the final six minutes of the game.

"It was a great game from the beginning," Cal coach Theresa Sherry said. "The whole team played outstanding. It was exciting to watch."

The Bears defense was stifling in the first half, allowing Villanova only four shot attempts. Senior goalkeeper Allie Shropshire was only needed for a single save the entire period.

On its way to a 9-0 halftime lead, the squad saw six different players score: Humphrey and fellow sophomores Alexa Rozelle and Megan Takacs netted two goals apiece. Tara Arolla, who had two assists, scored her lone goal with one second remaining in the half.

"We did great on draw controls, the attack was in synch, the defense made great stops, and we were causing turnovers all over the field," the junior attacker said. "We played a great game to end a great road trip."

Pennsylvania was certainly kind to Arolla, the team scoring leader with 36 points. She ended the week with seven goals and three assists and scored the game-winning goals in Cal's back-to-back victories against Drexel and La Salle.

"Tara has had this team on her shoulders a few times this trip," Sherry said, "That's why today's game was promising, it was everybody contributing."

Cal's successful road trip will serve them well as they prepare to for their remaining MPSF games.

"This whole week has been character building for the team." said Sherry. "Everything hasn't been pretty, but we have been able to get the job done."


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

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