Players of the week – Week of March 4th

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POW_HannahKohanzadehHannah Kohanzadeh

Josh Dancu

Despite his team’s loss to Cal Lutheran’s nationally ranked tennis team, Josh Dancu pulled off an impressive 3 set win (6-3, 4-6, 10-8) in his singles match Saturday. Dancu defeated Cal Lutheran’s top seed Moises Cardenas, who was ranked 14th in the nation among Division III tennis players at the end of last season.

While the Tigers have struggled against difficult SCIAC competition this season, Dancu has excelled individually. The senior has won three of his first four matches, despite typically facing the opposing team’s best player.

“I wouldn’t say I’ve played my best, and I still have plenty more to work on,” Dancu said. “But I’m finally starting to get back in shape and find my old forehand again.”

Dancu played tennis for Division I Depaul University before transferring to Occidental for his sophomore season. Since his arrival, he has been steadily improving. Dancu earned all-SCIAC second team in his first season playing for the Tigers and garnered an all-first team selection in his second year. Now, he is the team’s undisputed best player, team captain and its number one seed.

Dancu’s quality play has not gone unnoticed by his teammates.

“It’s great to have a player on the team who can compete with anyone in SCIAC,” teammate Avery Chernin (sophomore) said. “It gives us a lot of confidence knowing we can always depend on him.”

POW_HannahKohanzadeh-2Hannah Kohanzadeh

Sierra (CC) Slack

Sierra (CC) Slack poured in five goals on seven shot attempts in women’s lacrosse’s dominant 15-4 win over Chapman Saturday. Slack worked well with her offensive teammates, scoring three of her goals off assists. The first-year also won three draw controls in the victory.

Slack, who hails from Vorhees, N.J., was all-conference and first-team South Jersey in high school. While still in the early stages of her collegiate career, she has transitioned exceptionally well to college-level lacrosse. Slack scored two goals in her Oxy debut against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps and is now tied for first in goals in the SCIAC.

Slack credits her teammates for much of her success.

“My captains have created an atmosphere that has really made me feel like I can go on the field and play my hardest, knowing that they will have my back,” Slack said.

Head women’s lacrosse coach Stephanie Janice sees a promising combination of talent and hard-work in her first-year starter.

“CC is an attacker with a great set of skills,” she said. “Her shot is deceivingly good, she sees the field exceptionally well and her work ethic is excellent. You will continue to see great things from her this season.”

For now, Slack is just grateful to be playing lacrosse with a team that supports her on and off the field.

“I am so happy to be on a team that has been so welcoming and makes playing lacrosse so enjoyable,” Slack said.

Slack and her teammates play in Whittier tonight, taking on the Poets at 7 p.m., then travel to Colorado for their first-ever trip outside of California.