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Oregon Lacrosse 2023 Season Review And Update

The 2024 season will have a fresh start

DHS Makes Deal With Oregon Governor To Withdraw Federal Agents From Portland Photo by Nathan Howard/Getty Images

Not as many Pac-12 teams compete in lacrosse as they do in most other women’s sports - there are only six lacrosse teams: USC, Stanford, Arizona State, Colorado, California, and Oregon. Going into her fifth year as head coach, Chelsea Hoffman had been vying with the Bears for last place in the Pac-12 standings in her previous four seasons. In 2019, Oregon posted a 3-15 (1-9 Pac-12) record and was in last place. The next season was a scratch due to the pandemic, same as all other sports. 2020-21 was also shortened, but the Ducks did improve to 3-9. 2022 saw a record of 4-14 (1-9 Pac-12), and Oregon was able to stay out of last place and get a Pac-12 tournament win over Colorado before losing to Stanford.

The progress in the team may have been incremental, but it was there, and the goal for the 2023 season was to build upon that and show continued progress.

The Ducks started well enough in the non-conference portion of the season. They won three of the five non-conference games, with victories over Xavier, Kennesaw State, and George Mason, with the George Mason match being a road game in Virginia.

Then (with a non-conference match against UC Davis notwithstanding), the Ducks went through their conference slate in unimpressive fashion, with only a win against Arizona State in their 10 conference games.

One could not point to Pac-12 competition as being much of a factor, either, because unlike most other women’s sports, the Pac-12 does not have any nationally dominant teams in lacrosse. Only Stanford was ranked during the season (#25), and they ended the season ranked #31.

When all was said and done, Oregon finished 5-12 (1-9, Pac-12), including a first round loss to Colorado in the Pac-12 tournament.

In spite of some great individual effort by players such as Gabby Cleveland and Morgan McCarthy, this last season was not the step forward that Oregon was looking for. UO decided against renewing Chelsea Hoffman’s contract and began a search for Oregon’s fourth lacrosse head coach.

On June 23rd, Jessica Drummond was introduced as the new head coach for the Oregon Ducks. Drummond comes back home to Eugene, having been a star lacrosse midfielder for the Ducks between 2009-12. The 2012 season was Oregon’s best, as they went 14-5 (including 7-0 in the Pac-12). The Ducks won the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation tournament title that season to get a bid in the NCAA tournament, where they eventually fell to Navy.

After her Oregon playing career, Drummond was an undergraduate assistant coach at Oregon, followed by three seasons as an assistant coach at Dartmouth. She has been on the coaching staff at Vermont for the past seven seasons.

Jessica Drummond will have her work cut out for her if Oregon is to return to the competitive prominence that she experienced as a player, but that appears to be what UO is hoping for in bringing a former star on board in her first head coaching job.