Lacrosse Takes its Time in Victory





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Nothing was on the line for the Bears yesterday, and their effort showed it.

In the midst of a six-game winning streak, the Cal women's lacrosse team decided not to show up until the last minute of their match at St. Mary's in Moraga, Calif., its final game of the regular season. The Bears had to rally from a 7-4 halftime deficit and they won by a one-goal margin, 9-8, thanks to a pair of clutch goals in the final 15 seconds.

Heading into the game, the Bears (12-5, 6-2 in the Western Women's Lacrosse League) knew who their first round opponent would be in the league tournament - they are set to face Stanford in Davis, Calif., Saturday. The outcome of the game yesterday meant nothing in the standings.

Perhaps, the team hopes, that would explain their lackadaisical effort against the Gaels (7-6, 2-6).

"Today was a letdown," Cal junior midfielder Alana Dunnigan said. "We knew it was going to be a tough game, but we didn't rise to the challenge the way I thought we should have."

Dunnigan made reference to her team's sloppy execution and lack of hustle plays that usually distinguish the Bears' transition game.

"This team outhustled us," sophomore midfielder Laura Kado said. "We weren't getting the groundballs, which is something our team usually does well."

This was the second straight week that the Bears need a rally in the final moments for a win.

Last week, senior defenseman Carrie Scribner scored a goal with three seconds left in regulation to tie the score, then scored with 26 seconds left in overtime to give Cal an 8-7 win over Stanford.

Yesterday, a similar effort was required. Freshman midfielder Jessie Liu scored from the eight-meter hash mark with 15 seconds on the clock to tie the score at eight.

Then after a scramble for the loose ball, sophomore attacker Halsey Monger was the recipient of an assist from freshman midfielder Laura Forrest, and Monger put the ball in the back of the net with only five seconds remaining.

Cal had stolen the show and won its seventh game in a row, but it had also learned a lesson or two as it prepares for the playoffs.

"It's always good to win in those scary situations and to come through, but we were disappointed that we were put in that situation," said Kado, who scored two goals. "This definitely showed us the type of mental preparation you need for the playoffs. We may have the stick skills and the quickness (to be competitive) but we still have to put it together in the playoffs."

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