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DAVIS, Calif. - The Aggies' four-game March women's lacrosse homestand continued with a frustrating 11-7 loss to Coastal Carolina back on March 6, then turned around for a 19-7 onslaught against Quinnipiac six days later on Sunday. For head coach Tee Ladouceur, the loss to Coastal was a tough pill to swallow -- and yet perhaps exactly what the doctor ordered.
"It helped expose our weaknesses and allowed us to tweak things," she said. "Coastal is definitely a good team but in my opinion, we should have beaten them, especially on our home turf. The girls knew I was not happy, not just because we didn't win but because I've been telling them that they are one of the most talented groups that I've coached. If they could amount to their potential, we could take on the world."
The subsequent win over Quinnipiac held many of the markers that Ladouceur looks for. Ball control? The Aggies dominated the draw (20-7) and committed a season-low 10 turnovers. A deep attack with numerous contributors on the scoring column? Check: freshman Amanda Outcalt scored career bests of five goals and four assists to earn MPSF Rookie of the Week honors, yet was only one of six UC Davis players with multiple goals. Sophomores Taylor Cuenin and Shannon Cross each added hat tricks, while Kate Fellner, Melissa Kellan and Sorana Larson each chipped in two scores.
Cuenin also added three caused turnovers, seven draw controls and five ground balls. She rates among the nation's top 10 in both steals (fourth) and GB pickups (eighth) while continuing to lead the Aggie offense with 18 goals and nine assists.
"As good as Sunday was, I now want to see us build on that," said Ladouceur, who now eyes a Columbia program having its best start in almost a full decade. "We need to stick with what we know and have everybody contribute. It can't be a game where only one or two people put the ball into the net. I'm looking for another total team effort, and I truly believe that if we have that, we'll come away with the win.
"I think it will be a close game, and I want to see us fight and finish in our closer games," added Ladouceur.
The Lions posted their first-ever win against Dartmouth to open Ivy League play, then put a scare into 11th-ranked Cornell on Saturday. Columbia led by an 11-8 margin midway through the second half before the Big Red pulled away late to escape with a 14-11 victory. Taylor Quinn leads the Lions with 15 goals with Lindsey Ewertsen (12), Laine Parsons (10) and Sara Ruzzi (10) also averaging multiple goals per game.
Thursday's contest begins at 5 p.m. at Aggie Stadium. Admission is free to all UC Davis home women's lacrosse games. The Aggies will then resume MPSF play at Saint Mary's on Sunday.
QUICK STICKS: Head coach Tee Ladouceur hopes to see her team finish strong in a close game, mostly because it hasn't happened yet in 2017... Six of the seven games thus far had margins of at least 10 goals, one way or another: wins over LIU Brooklyn (19-7), Presbyterian (17-5) and Quinnipiac (19-7); plus losses to Top 20 foes Stanford (20-10), Denver (16-6) and Colorado (18-5)... Coastal Carolina was the first relatively even-matched game of the year, and that featured a 5-0 Chanticleer run to finish... Freshman and current MPSF Rookie of the Week Amanda Outcalt's nine-point output against QU ties the MPSF's best of the year with Colorado's Miranda Stinson, who not coincidentally won MPSF Offensive POW honors... The last Aggie to total nine points was Courtney Neff, who had six goals and three assists in the 2015 season finale at Saint Mary's... Columbia is one of four Ivy League schools to send a team to UC Davis this week: Harvard lost to the women's water polo team on Sunday, Princeton will compete in softball's Aggie Invitational II, and Yale takes on the men's tennis team in a dual match on Saturday.
LIVE COVERAGE: Live statistics of Thursday's game can be found via StatBroadcast... Live video will continue to be available on the team's Facebook page... However, David Kim's audio will now be found separately via Stretch Internet... Of course, fans may sync the stat feed, audio and Facebook Live for a complete online experience... Links are above.
ABOUT SUNDAY'S OPPONENT: SAINT MARY'S (1-6) went 0-3 in a tri-state road trip to Central Connecticut State, Manhattan and Wagner last weekend... Jocelyn Lubert leads the Gaels with 20 goals while Jillian Dunlap has 12 goals and a team-leading 27 draw controls.