Written by Ryan Craven (UO Alum '07)
After starting their season off with a 12-4 win over Oregon State on February 9th, the Oregon Ducks are preparing for a 7 game homestretch. First up for the Ducks are the Idaho Vandals and Washington State Cougars this weekend.
"Blackmore definitely came up huge against the Beavs. We've hit it hard the past two weeks and our offense is beginning to really flow. The intensity has picked up, and the team continues to progress and come together more and more each week," Tiller said.
DUCKS vs. VANDALS
Saturday marks the first game of the season for the Vandals, who continue to establish a first-class program under the leadership of 2nd year Head Coach Ryan Hanavan. With no games to look at, not much is known about Idaho's new talent. However, a handful of new freshmen and transfers highlight this year's roster including Kreig Shaw. A standout midfielder at Boise State last season, Shaw transferred to Idaho in December.
Compared to previous years, the Vandals are also sure to have a more solid defensive unit on the field. Senior defender Rob McQuade (#4) makes his debut in black and gold after suffering a severe knee injury following his freshman season at University of Utah in 2005. Prior to the injury, McQuade had intended to continue his lacrosse-playing career at NCAA Division 1 Mount St. Mary's. After a year of rehabbing, he opted to transfer back west to University of Idaho. McQuade assisted under Coach Hanavan last year.
Oregon defender Jeff Brunelle (Senior, #12) and McQuade enter Saturday's game with unfamiliar hostility brewing. The two best friends grew up together in Boise, Idaho. While attending Bishop Kelly High School, the duo played side-by-side for 3 years and founded the annual Idaho High School All-Star Games. After graduating, they continued to team up, taking on coaching roles in Idaho and winning 4 straight Brawl In McCall Championships as starters for the Woozles, a club team made up of college players from Idaho, Utah, and Oregon.
On going head-to-head with McQuade, Brunelle, a fourth year veteran at Oregon, said "It's rare that I ever get to play against someone from my high school, and it's great to see Rob make a return. We've been talking all week, but I think that will end on Friday. It's going to get heated." McQuade declined to comment.
DUCKS vs. COUGARS
Following the Idaho game, Oregon faces another unknown on Sunday when they go up against the Washington State Cougars. After disbanding two years ago, the Cougars have re-established themselves in Pullman and begin their season against the Ducks this weekend as well. With a 20-man roster and strong leadership, this Cougars squad is sure to make a run at competing in the PNCLL this season.
Oregon vs. Idaho
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Oregon vs. Washington State
Sunday, February 24, 2008
All Ducks home games are played on the University of Oregon Men's Lacrosse Field located on the Oregon campus between historic Hayward Field and the University's Tennis Center. Directions to the field can be found at the team's website, www.oregonlacrosse.org.
DUCKS TEACH FUTURE DUCKS HOW TO FLY
Left to right: Austin Loranger, Eric Hjelm, Josh Schane, Will DeSiervo, Brook Pittenger
With no games last weekend, the Ducks took action in the community, hosting a clinic that brought 35 local high school players out to prepare for their upcoming season. The clinic included instruction from the entire Oregon squad.
COMING UP NEXT:
The Oregon Ducks play 7 home games in the next 4 weeks. After Idaho and Washington State, the Ducks host 2 out-of-conference teams from the WCLL next weekend.
The Ducks take on Chico State under the lights at 6pm on Friday, February 29th, and then face University of San Diego the next day, March 1st, at 1pm.
Following Chico and San Diego are 3 more home games:
Saturday, March 8, 1pm - Oregon vs. Montana
Sunday, March 9, 12pm - Oregon vs. Gonzaga
Saturday, March 15, 1pm - Oregon vs. Boise State
For more MCLA news, and live game reports, photos, and commentary of all the Oregon
Ducks action, be sure to check out www.COLLEGELAX.us.