February 11, 2011

Cal's Emotional Day Ends in Loss

from staff reports

BERKELEY, Calif. -- On the same day it learned the university had spared its program from what was previously considered certain extinction, the California women's lacrosse team could not handle No. 10-ranked Notre Dame, losing 20-6 Friday at Witter Rugby Field.

Four Notre Dame players notched at least four points in the victory, led by Jenny Granger's four goals and two assists. Goalkeeper Ellie Hilling made 11 saves for the Irish.

"We had a tough day," Cal coach Theresa Sherry said. "Tara Arolla was probably our most consistent player, and she played the entire game and battled, came up with a few goals. We obviously struggled with our scoring. We look for her to have a good season, and I was proud of her effort today."

Arolla, a junior attacker, scored the first goal of the game and of the season for the Bears when she struck unassisted just 1:36 into the game. Cal briefly led, 1-0, until Granger scored her first goal at 2:02. The Irish went on a 5-0 run to lead 5-1 at 11:10 in the first half.

Sophomore midfielder Megan Takacs scored twice for Cal in the half. But eight different Notre Dame players scored in the first 30 minutes, and the Irish took a 11-3 lead into halftime.

Notre Dame scored the first five goals of the second half to take a commanding 16-3 lead at the 41:43 mark of the second half. Arolla netted two of the next three goals to pull Cal to within 16-5 with 10:46 left in the final period.

The Irish scored the game's last three goals to close out Cal's loss, 20-6.

The Bears played their first game on the artificial turf of Witter Rugby Field, which will be their home for the 2011 season due to the renovation of Memorial Stadium, Cal's usual home.

"We really started to love this field ever since we started playing on it," Sherry said."It's very intimate for the kind of fan base that we have. It was really fun to see all the high schools out here today, the families and all the local fans. It seemed like we had a lot of fans here; we never really filled Memorial Stadium. It's actually been really nice for us here."

Cal opens Mountain Pacific Sports Federation play when it hosts UC Davis at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 13, at Witter.

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