Cal Gets It Started on the Right Foot Against Aggies

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Over the last two years, the Cal women's lacrosse team has a 1-5 record in the first three games of the season.

Despite finishing 12-6 both years, the slow starts were still discouraging.

The Bears showed just how tired they were of early disappointments in a 14-7 drubbing of UC Davis Saturday in their season opener.

"We've been taking a lot about mental preparation programs," captain Eden Coelho said. "We did not want to go through a slow start again this year and we didn't overlook Davis."

At the beginning, it didn't look so promising for the Bears. They went down 2-1 early on with consecutive goals by Aggies junior Kelly Albin.

"Our main problem at the beginning was shot selection," said sophomore Julianne Wu, who had three goals, two assists and consistently put pressure on the Aggie defense with her speed.

"The coaches told us to start taking more low shots and once we did, we started scoring," Wu said. "We are not the kind of team that gets bogged down if we don't convert the early opportunities."

The Bears showed their resilience by rallying for six consecutive goals within a nine-minute span.

The rally began and concluded with goals by Wu and included two goals by senior Halsey Monger and a goal apiece from sophomores Emily Edwards and Colleen O'Mara.

The Bears showed balance throughout the game, preventing any defensive plan the Aggies attempted from being effective.

"I think our balance is really important," said senior Laura Kado, the game's leading scorer. "With some teams, you can focus on one person and shut down the whole team. With us, we have so many people who can score and everyone contributes."

While everyone contributed to the Bears' win, Kado single-handedly took control of the offense in the second-half. She scored four goals, three of them within the last five minutes to leave no doubt about the victory.

"Laura struggled in the first half, but in the second half, she really turned it into overdrive," Malko said. "There is no harder worker than Laura Kado. I just wish I could clone her."

A clone might be nice, but with a Bears team that includes such an arsenal of weapons, it shouldn't be necessary.

The Bears will try to continue their hot start against a tough St. Mary's team Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. at Memorial Stadium.


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