Pioneers Top Ducks, Gain #2 Seed in MPSF

DENVER University of Denver redshirt sophomore Kara Secora (Denver, Colo.) had five goals and two assists, as the Pioneers claimed the No. 2 seed in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Tournament with a 14-9 victory over Oregon on Saturday afternoon.

Denver (7-10, 5-1 MPSF) started the game by jumping to a quick 3-0 lead with 27:45 remaining in the first half, including two goals by freshman Meredith Harris (Middleburg, Va.).

After the Ducks (7-8, 4-2 MPSF) scored their first goal, the Pioneers responded with three straight goals. Secora scored or assisted on six of DU's first seven goals in the first 8:10 of the contest.

Oregon switched goalies with 21:50 left on the clock, and the Ducks' offense responded aggressively, attempting two shots before finally breaking Denver's streak with their second goal of the game.

Senior Tulley Stapp (Denver, Colo.) scored her first of three goals, helping Denver to a 7-2 lead before Oregon finally made an aggressive comeback, tallying four straight goals to cut Denver's lead to 7-6 at the end of the first half. Denver outshot Oregon 24-19 in the half.

The Pioneers broke things open to start the second half with a four goal streak, including another two by Secora.

The Pioneers held onto the lead for the remainder of the game, cinching the No. 2 seed in the MPSF Tournament, while Oregon earned the No. 3 seed. Stapp added an assist to her hat trick, while sophomore Alex Befus (Colorado Springs, Colo.) had a goal and two assists.

Prior to the game, the Pioneers honored seniors Lauren Benner (Arnold, Md.), Carrie Gamper (Towson, Md.), Karin Hart (Centennial, Colo.), Kelsey McDowell (Rydal, Penn.) and Stapp for their final home game at Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium.

Next Friday, the Pioneers and Ducks will face each other again in the semifinals of the MPSF Championship in Moraga, Calif. The game will begin at 3:00 p.m. MT.

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DENVER A battle for conference tournament seeding ended in favor of Denver, as it handed the Oregon lacrosse team a 14-9 loss in Saturday's regular season finale.

Alex Breiner and Jana Drummond each contributed three points on two goals and an assist while Jess Drummond (two goals) and Shannon Propst (one goal, one assist) chipped in two points of their own for the Ducks (7-8, 4-2 Mountain Pacific).

Things got off to an inauspicious start for the Ducks. The Pioneers scored the first three goals and recorded six of the first seven tallies to grab a 6-1 lead with only 8:10 expired.

Oregon fought back over the final 22 minutes of the half and tallied five of the next six goals to nearly pull even before the break. Jess Drummond made it a 6-2 game by firing home a Propst feed midway through the first half, though her tally was answered by DU's Tully Stapp nearly two minutes later to put the Pioneers back up five.

Undeterred, Oregon finished the first half with four consecutive goals as Breiner made it 7-3 with an unassisted goal with 9:29 left in the first half and then set up Propst's goal 2:17 later to cut the deficit to three. Breiner brought the Ducks within 7-5 by scoring on a Jana Drummond feed and Drummond tallied her second goal of the afternoon on a free position attempt with 2:10 remaining to make it 7-6, which is where the game stood at halftime.

The Ducks' momentum was halted early in the second half as the Pioneers tallied four-straight goals in the first 9:43 to build their lead back up to 11-6. Bina Barrett brought Oregon within four goals with 19:17 left, but Stapp made it a five-goal lead again midway through the final period and the Ducks would not draw closer than four goals the rest of the way.

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