The Pomona-Pitzer women’s lacrosse team had an impressive showing this week, beating Redlands and narrowly losing to Whittier, two teams they had lost to by wide margins earlier in the season.
On Friday, Apr. 16, the Hens took on the Whittier Poets on their home turf. P-P had lost to Whittier 25-10 just a few weeks earlier, but, as the Poets were about to find out, the Hens had improved enormously since then.
The Hens started the game out strong with an immediate goal by Martha Marich PO ’12. The defense was playing well as they held the Poets scoreless for the first eight and a half minutes.
As the defense started to break down, Whittier found the gaps and went on a charge, scoring three goals in the next two minutes. At half time, the Poets led 9-7. Marich had scored all seven goals while Julia “Wallace” Behr PO ‘10 had five big saves in the first half to keep the Hens in the game.
The Hens started out the second half sluggishly, as the Poets scored three unanswered goals. P-P soon came back alive and brought the score within one point.
This half, unlike the first half in which Marich dominated the offense, was a team effort. In a beautiful play, Kira Watson PO ’10 made a crisp pass to Hannah T’Kindt PO ’11, who was right in front of the goal and stuffed it in. Jenny Miner PO ’13 scored three goals in the second half, including two penalty shots, T’Kindt had two, Watson had one, and Marich added two more.
The Hens had a bunch of narrowly missed shots due to an impressive performance by the opposing goalie that could have tipped the game in their favor. P-P wore down in the last few minutes and made some errors that allowed the Poets to bring their lead to five by game’s end, with the final score being 20-15.
Tuesday night, the Hens hosted the Redlands Bulldogs for their last home game. It started out with a ceremony to honor seniors Watson, Wallace, and Devon Haynes PI ’10.
After a slow start, which left the Hens down 0-2, they suddenly fired it up, scoring eight goals to bring the score to 8-4. Watson was indispensable to this comeback, as she had three of the goals. P-P was dominating the draw controls (which happen after every goal is scored) and scored quickly off several of them.
Two Bulldog goals scored off penalty shots after questionable calls by the referee brought the half-time score to 9-11 with the Hens down by two.
A few minutes into the second half, another goal by Watson tied the game up at 12-12, but the Bulldogs answered back right away. This led to a 10-minute stand-still, with excellent defense and goalie saves by both teams. Neither was able to score.
The Bulldogs were the first to break the gridlock and scored two more goals, but the Hens could not seem to get the ball in the goal. Marich finally scored after 17 scoreless minutes to bring the score to 13-15 with 8 minutes left.
At this late point in the game, it was clear that P-P was the team with more endurance. Even with the same 12 girls playing the entire game, the Hens were out-hustling the Bulldogs time after time.
After goals by Marich and Watson to tie it up, the goalie was caught out of the goal in a strange play and Emma Molloy PI ’13 scored to give P-P the lead.
P-P started stalling to run time off the clock, and when the Redlands team pressed the ball, Watson calmly went around her defender and scored her seventh goal. Redlands was able to score one more and had a chance to tie with 10 seconds left, but the P-P defenders fended them off and the Hens won the game, 17-16.
Marich, like her teammates, was absolutely ecstatic after the win.
“We did it for the seniors!” she exclaimed. But Marich has another reason to be proud. After her 7 goals scored in this game, her goal count is at 101, and she continues to be the leading scorer in all of Division III.
Another SCIAC stats leader is goalie Wallace. She had 13 saves in this game, with 10 in the second half, and leads SCIAC in saves per game with 10.
Haynes said, “It feels amazing! I’m so proud of our team. We played with our hearts for 60 full minutes despite some bad calls [by the referees]. I couldn’t be happier about winning our senior night game!”
Head Coach Katie Shannon was all smiles and also very proud of her team.
“Pretty much the whole season, things haven’t gone our way, but tonight, everything came together,” she said. “They played for their seniors. I think tonight they finally realized how good they are.”
The Hens have one more league game at Occidental, and then will vie for the title of SCIAC tournament champions. Although the Hens are not favored to win, judging by the way they played Tuesday night, anything is possible.