Denver Upended by Oregon in MPSF Semifinals

DENVER – The No. 2 seed University of Denver women's lacrosse team was defeated 7-4 by No. 3 seed Oregon in the semifinals of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Tournament on Friday afternoon, concluding the Pioneers' season.

DU (7-11) received goals from juniors Lauren Ciccomascolo (Ladera Ranch, Calif.) and Becca Steinberg (Millersville, Md.), sophomore Alex Befus (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and freshman Annabelle Gilbride (Alexandria, Va.).

However, Oregon's Alex Breiner had a hat trick and Jana Drummond added a pair of goals to carry the Ducks (8-8), whose win was just the second in 10 games against the Pioneers.

Junior goalkeeper Ashley Harman (Boyertown, Pa.) made eight saves in the contest.

Breiner and Drummond each scored early to give the Ducks a 2-0 lead just 4:05 into the game. Denver responded with three-straight goals to claim a 3-2 advantage with 9:06 remaining in the first half.

However, Oregon scored the next five goals over a 13:17 span that stretched into the second half.

Steinberg's goal with 16:36 remaining cut DU's deficit to three, but both teams remained scoreless the rest of the way.

Oregon advances to take on No. 1 seed Stanford in the MPSF Championship game on Sunday.

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MORAGA, Calif. – Freshman Caroline Federighi's nine saves backstopped a dominant defensive effort as the Oregon lacrosse team defeated Denver, 7-4, in the semifinal round of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Tournament on Friday.

First-team All-MPSF selections Alex Breiner and Jana Drummond combined for seven points to move the Ducks (8-8) into their first MPSF Tournament finals appearance in school history. Breiner tallied four points on three goals and an assist while Drummond contributed three points on a goal and an assist.

After falling behind the Pioneers, 6-1, in the regular season finale six days ago, the Ducks got off to a much faster start on Friday. Breiner got the scoring started with her 35th goal of the year 2:52 into the contest and Drummond tacked on her 34th 1:13 later to put UO up 2-0.

Denver bounced back and tallied the next three goals, getting on the board with a little over eight minutes expired on an Alex Befus tally, tying it on a Lauren Ciccomascolo free position goal at 13:57 and grabbing a 3-2 lead on a goal by Annebelle Gilbride with 9:06 remaining in the opening frame.

Undeterred, the Ducks countered with three unanswered goals of their own to close the first half up 5-3. Drummond's second goal of the day evened the contest at 3-3, Bina Barrett put the Ducks back in front with 3:18 remaining and Hayley Milner converted a Breiner feed to make it 5-3 a minute later.

Breiner opened the second half with two straight goals, one on a free position shot two minutes in and another off a Drummond feed with 7:02 gone by. The score held until Becca Steinberg converted a free position attempt with 16:36 remaining to make it a 7-4 game.

The Pioneers fired seven more shots the rest of the way in an effort to draw closer, but Federighi made five of her saves in the final 15 minutes to secure the Ducks' victory and pick up her third win of the season.

“We are glad to take this step into the finals,” head coach Jen Larsen said. “It's a nice win, but now our focus shifts towards Stanford on Sunday.”

Oregon will take on No. 6 Stanford for a bid to the NCAA Tournament on Sunday. Opening draw is at 1:00 p.m.


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