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Women's Lacrosse Closes Season This Week With Cal and UC Davis

April 24, 2007

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This week the Saint Mary's women's lacrosse team will play two Mountain Pacific Sports Federation games. First, the Gaels will travel to Berkeley for a Tuesday afternoon game against the California Golden Bears at 4 p.m., before returning home to face the UC Davis Aggies on Saturday at noon. The game between SMC and Cal will be played at Memorial Stadium and the game between SMC and UC Davis will be contested at Saint Mary's Stadium.

Saint Mary's enters this week with a 3-10 overall record and are 0-3 in MPSF play. The Gaels are coming off a 7-15 loss to Oregon in an MPSF game on April 15. California enters Tuesday's contest with a 5-7 overall record and a 1-2 record against the MPSF, following an 11-8 loss to Stanford on Saturday. UC Davis enters this week with a 7-7 ledger and is still looking for its first MPSF win of the season. The Aggies (0-3 MPSF) will host Stanford on Tuesday before making the trip to Moraga on Saturday.

Saturday's game against UC Davis will mark the final home game of the season for Saint Mary's, and the final home game for the senior class. For the 2007 women's lacrosse Senior Day, SMC will recognize just one senior, that being four-year player Jackie Spencer, who will be player in her final home game at Saint Mary's. Spencer ranks third at SMC in points (115) and goals (94).

After starting the year with a 5-1 record, Cal has lost its last six games for a 5-7 record. The Bears are coming off back-to-back MPSF losses to Oregon (16-10) and Stanford (11-8) to fall to 1-2 in conference play and are currently in fourth place in the MPSF standings. During the six-game losing streak, Cal has suffered road losses to Northwestern, Notre Dame, Ohio State, and Vanderbilt.

Laura Cavallo leads the squad with 40 points. Cavallo has found the back of the net a team-leading 30 times and has 10 assists, the second most on the squad. Liz Reifsnyder and Danni Zuralow are second on the team with 31 points. Zuralow is tied for second on the team with Madeleine Dale with 22 goals, and Reifsnyder leads the team with 14 assists while scoring 17 goals.

Tuesday when the Gaels and Bears square off, it will mark the 12th meeting all-time between the two schools. Cal holds a 10-1 advantage in the series, and has won the last three games of the series. The only win for the Gaels was a 7-5 win over the Bears to open the 2003 campaign. Saint Mary's is 0-6 when play at Cal.

UC Davis is currently 7-7 this season after opening the season with a 2-4 start. The Aggies are 1-2 since posting a 12-5 win over the Gaels on April 1. UCD is coming off an 18-0 win over Wittenberg University on April 15, which followed a 17-4 loss to Ohio State. UC Davis dropped to 0-3 in MPSF play with a 12-5 loss to Denver on April 8. The Aggies will play at Stanford on Tuesday night before traveling to Moraga on Saturday.

Leading the Aggies this season in Megan O'Connor, who has collected 54 points in 14 games. O'Connor leads the team in all three offensive categories, as she has 34 goals and 20 assists during her senior campaign. In the first meeting between SMC and UCD, O'Connor tallied seven points on four goals and three assists. Patrice Clark, who had five goals against SMC in the first meeting, is second on the team with 27 goals and has 12 assists for 39 points. Katie McGovern is second on the team with 40 points on 24 goals and 16 assists. Hilary Harkins has logged all 846 minutes in goal and has 142 saves and a 9.86 goals against average.

Saturday's game between SMC and UC Davis will mark the 18th game between the two schools. Following the 17-5 loss to the Aggies earlier this year, UCD holds a 13-4 advantage in the series.

The last time SMC took the field, the Gaels posted conference losses Denver (20-7) and Oregon (15-7). In the loss to Denver, the Pioneers opened an 11-1 lead in the first half. Jackie Spencer led the Gaels with two goals in the loss to the Pioneers. In the loss to Oregon, Saint Mary's got two goals and an assist from both P.J. Hainley and Abbie Coleman in the eight-goal loss to the Ducks. The losses to Denver and Oregon dropped the Gaels' MPSF record to 0-3.

Through 13 games, Saint Mary's has seven players that have double digits in points. Leading the list is P.J. Hainley, who has 31 points. Hainley leads the team with 11 assists and is second overall with 20 goals. Jackie Spencer is second on the squad with 28 points as she leads the team with 24 goals in 11 appearances. Freshman Abbie Coleman has 26 points with 16 goals and 10 assists, Sonja Kapusta has 21 points on 15 goals and six assists. Jen Utley has 11 goals and nine assists and Alana Burrough has 19 points on 10 goals and nine assists. Amber Lister has 11 points on eight goals and three assists in just six games. She is averaging 1.83 points per game, which is fourth best on the team.

Saint Mary's is ranked in the top-30 in two statistical categories. The Gaels are tied for the top spot in the country in ground balls and are ranked 21st overall in caused turnovers. Saint Mary's is averaging 25.46 ground balls per game and are more than two ground balls ahead of second place Marist. SMC has caused 126 turnovers this season and the 9.69 caused turnovers per game is tied with Notre Dame for 21st in the nation. American University leads the nation with 12.87 caused turnovers per game.

Senior midfielder Jackie Spencer ranks in the top-10 in all three offensive scoring categories. Spencer entered the season ranked fourth in total points with 87, third in goals with 70, and seventh in assists with 17. With her 28 points this season, she moved ahead of Molly Wagner for third place and now has 115 career points. Her 94 career goals are 39 behind Megan Bryan's second place total of 133. She will need one assist to match Thera Luce's career total of 22 assists, which ranks sixth.

Following the games against Cal and UC Davis, Saint Mary's will next be in action at the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation playoffs on May 3-6. The Gaels' first round opponent is yet to be determined, as they are playing the final games against MPSF opponents this week. Denver (4-0) clinched the top seed and Oregon will be the two seed following a 4-1 conference finish. Both Denver and Oregon will draw first round byes in the tournament. Stanford is currently in third place with a 2-2 record, Cal is fourth at 1-2 and SMC and UC Davis are tied for fifth place at 0-3.