UC Davis Storms Back to Down Ducks in MPSF Tourney

DENVER, Colo. -- Junior attacker Christina Corsa scored career highs of five goals and seven total points to help fifth-seeded UC Davis storm back from a late 10-7 deficit to take a 13-11 victory over fourth-seeded Oregon in the quarterfinal round of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation women's lacrosse championship tournament at Denver's Peter Barton Stadium Thursday evening.

Denver, Colo. -- The UC Davis Aggies improve to 11-5 for the season, advancing in the draw to face top-seeded Denver in Friday's semifinal. The Oregon Ducks finish their season at 7-11.

Corsa shot 5 for 6 in the contest, while posting two ground balls and two caused turnovers on defense. Junior Gina Hoffmire added four goals with two draw controls. Senior Molly Lapolla tallied two scores, and seniors Molly Peterson and Britt Farquharson chipped in one each. Kjersten Nordmeyer earned the starting nod at goalkeeper, then gave way to Alyssa Cranska midway in the second half. Cranska was credited with the goalie win, stopping four shots against just two goals in her 17 minutes of work.

For Oregon, junior Alex Breiner recorded three goals with two assists. Sophomore Dominique Christiansen also had a hat trick, while Jess Drummond tallied four draw controls with three steals.

The Ducks took the early lead as Breiner assisted attacker Bina Barrett for the game's first goal in the third minute, then hit an eight-meter shot in the fifth. Barrett then fed Christiansen for a goal at the 23:09 mark to push the UO lead to 3-0. Hoffmire put the Aggies on the board, converting an assist from Rachael Martinez with 17:29 to go in the first, then Peterson finished her eight-meter chance a minute later to bring the score to 3-2. Both teams traded goals for the remainder oft he period, with Drummond's score with 4:55 left sending the Ducks to the break with a 6-4 lead.

With UO playing shorthanded due to a yellow card at the halftime buzzer, Corsa assisted Lapolla on a goal off the second-half draw, then scored a goal of her own less than a minute later to tie the game at 6-6. Hoffmire competed her hat trick in the 34th minute to send UC Davis to its first lead, but Oregon countered with four straight goals to claim a 10-7 advantage. Christiansen scored two power-play goals and assisted Anna Swicklik in that run.

However, Corsa exploded for three more goals in a span of five minutes, the last of which tied the game at 11-11. Farquharson sent her eight-meter shot into the cage with 6:22 left, giving the Aggies the lead for good. Drummond won the ensuing draw for a chance to equalize, but Cranska posted key saves against her and Pasko during the next 90 seconds. Save for a broken clear attempt at the 4:34 mark, UC Davis was able to protect the ball down the stretch. Corsa assisted Lapolla on a goal with 15 seconds left to provide the Aggies their two-goal cushion, then Hoffmire forced a Duck turnover in the last seconds to seal the win.

Friday's victory marked the first time the Aggies have beaten the Ducks since 2005, when they took two wins from the first-year Ducks. It also represents the second straight year UC Davis has advanced in the MPSF tournament, including last season's 16-14 upset of Denver. Furthermore, the comeback effort was reminiscent of the Aggies' regular-season finale with No. 15 Stanford, when UC Davis scored six of the last nine goals to cut into a 14-5 Cardinal lead.

No. 2 seed Stanford will face No. 3 California in Friday's first semifinal, then the UC Davis-DU contest will take place at 6:00 p.m. MDT. The semi winners will then square off on Sunday for the conference's new automatic qualifier to the NCAA Championship bracket.


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