The Cherokee called the sport that evolved into lacrosse "Little Brother of War" and considered it excellent military training. The modern game originated with the Iroquois and, when adapted for the white man, incorporated many of the rules of ice hockey. Today women's lacrosse is a high-scoring battle of finesse and speed, borrowing more from field hockey -- including the kilts -- with elements of soccer and basketball.Cal women's lacrosse, one of only four Division I programs west of the Mississippi, is poised to become a powerhouse this decade. In only its fourth varsity season, Cal has made a good showing against traditionally strong East Coast squads and is so far 9-4 overall and undefeated in the five-team Mountain Pacific Lacrosse League, the champion of which will be eligible for an automatic berth to the NCAA tournament when University of Oregon fields an intercollegiate team in 2004-05.
This Saturday (4 p.m., Cal Memorial Stadium, free) the Bears take on highly ranked Division II team UC Davis in their final home game, only their third Mountain Pacific contest of the season. After a last league game at Stanford, it's on to the MPLL championships May 3-4, also in Palo Alto. -- Annika Dukes
Warriors vs. Lakers. Two teams heading in opposite directions very slowly. One young, scrappy, and hungry for the good life; the other on the road to the Coaster Hall of Fame. Yet for now, the LA Lakers are bound for the NBA playoffs while the Warriors are left with a tantalizing season of might-have-beens to ponder. The biggest question still beetling the brows of Warriors fans is whether the team is going to keep point guard Gilbert "We fear no man!" Arenas. The Keep-Arenas Web site at www.sign-arenas.20fr.com is good for the kind of hollow laughs Warriors supporters have grown accustomed to. But enough of this idle speculation. Wednesday night, the once-haughty Lakers come to town (7:30 p.m.). Let's show up and make some noise for the hell of it. www.nba.com/warriors -- Kelly Vance
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