Coach Jen Beck has high hopes for her young team in the upcoming season
The Ducks open at Papé Field February 21 against San Diego State.
By UO Student Lili Wagner
For the Oregon Ducks lacrosse team, last year’s winning season came to a sad close as the Ducks fell to top-seeded Denver in tournament play.
“Oh my gosh, that was so long ago,” said head coach Jen Beck. “We had a great team last year and we learned a lot about ourselves.
“It’s a daily motivation of what’s necessary to compete at the level we want to compete at, because our expectations are higher than they were last year.”
This year, the Ducks seek to avenge their loss in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation tournament. Returning to Papé Field, the Ducks bring nineteen seasoned players to the team as well as eleven newly recruited freshmen, all hungry to compete at a high level of play.
Oregon seeks to avenge last year’s semifinal
loss in the upcoming season.
“We have a large class of freshmen that came in, so they are over a third of the team,” commented Beck. “So a lot of this fall, which to us is out-of-season, preseason, trying to get ourselves prepared, was spent instructing this third of our team to understand hard work and what’s expected of them, what the level of play is that we’re going to be practicing at all of the time. They did a very good job responding to that.”
Beck, who has been with the UO women’s lacrosse program since its inaugural year in 2005, enters her tenth season as head coach this year. Last season, Beck notched her 100th victory at the helm, and in the upcoming season she plans to lead her squad of hardworking, well-conditioned players to the NCAA tournament.
The women’s lacrosse team plays in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation, which serves as the conference for lacrosse teams in the western United States. In 2005, Oregon was the fourth program to join the MPSF, which today consists of ten teams. The MPSF holds a bid to the NCAA tournament, earned by the conference champion. After losing in the semifinal game last year, the Ducks return seeking the MPSF Championship and NCAA bid.
The road to the MPSF Championship begins February 13 in Clinton, South Carolina, where Oregon will face Presbyterian College.
“We are very ready to play someone else,” Beck said.
The first few games of the season are sure to put the large class of freshmen to the test, but senior midfielder Casey Brogan seemed confident in the team’s ability.
“It doesn’t feel like a young team,” she said. “They have a lot of talent.”
“It will nice to get that test, get that under our belt, and then we come back and we have nearly two weeks to then prepare for our conference and home opener,” said Beck.
The team opens at Papé Field February 21 against San Diego State.