Lacrosse Tops Whittier in Home Opener

If you have ever peeked your head into the Rains Center’s training room or biked past Merritt Football Field on your way to Frary anytime since August, you have probably seen Martha Marich PO ’12 bustling in and out of rope ladders, rehabbing an injured knee that curtailed her junior year.

And if you checked out last Saturday’s Pomona-Pitzer women’s lacrosse home opener—a 26-18 victory over Whittier College—the rejuvenated Marich, who scored 11 goals in the victory, undoubtedly caught your eye, as well as, of course, those of forgotten Poet defenders and their coaches hollering to somehow impede the unstoppable attacker.

Marich, who led all of Division III in goals per game her sophomore year before a torn ACL ended her junior campaign 11 games in, was glad to simply be on the field again.

“I personally was still just ecstatic to be playing at all, and winning made it even better,” said Marich, a two-sport athlete who watched her soccer teammates make the SCIAC tournament this fall as she prepped for the current lacrosse season.

Heading into the Whittier contest, Marich said she “was more worried about the mental aspect of the injury” and even “scared of re-tearing it and becoming hesitant on the field.” 

The Virginia native, however, displayed no signs of nerves as she decisively and consistently stormed through the Whittier defense and bombarded the Poet goalie with 15 shots on target.

Marich’s aggressiveness helped clear space for teammates with Logan Galansky PO ’14 and Dana London PZ ’14 particularly benefiting from distracted markers as the duo scored five and four goals, respectively. Whittier’s goalie appeared befuddled by Galansky’s finishing, the returning first-team, all-SCIAC selection whipping her shots low past the helpless netminder’s stick. London, who, like Marich, is also a member of the women’s soccer team, used her superior speed to accelerate past her opponents and find quality opportunities.

Catherine Dugan PO ’15, Kaitlin Jones PZ ’14, Claire Bartlett PZ ’15 and Julie Necarsulmer PO ’15 rounded out the scoring for P-P.

“The Whittier game was great. I thought the whole team played really well,” Marich said of the win. “We already improved a lot since our game the week before [a loss to CMS]. It felt good to win, especially in SCIAC play, and I think it definitely gave our team some confidence.”

That confidence will be essential for the young Sagehens, who boast ten first-years and a mere one upperclassman with Marich, as the Whittier victory was sandwiched by two lopsided losses.

“It would be great to beat CMS or make it to the SCIAC tournament final,” Marich said. But the Sagehens will need to mature quickly if they wish to topple last year’s SCIAC representatives in the NCAA tournament.

P-P traveled to the University of Redlands Wednesday night and fell to a veteran, undefeated Bulldogs squad, 18-9. Marich was positive entering the contest, stating that she expected “a really exciting game from Redlands” and that P-P would “have to fight hard to win,” since Redlands defeated CMS last weekend in one of CMS’s first SCIAC losses in recent memory.

Whereas Whittier could not contain Marich, Redlands limited the Sagehens’ leading goal-scorer to only two tallies. Galansky, on the other hand, continued her form from the previous game, netting four goals in the defeat. London managed a sole strike against a resolute Redlands.

Defensively, the Sagehens could not prevent the Bulldogs’ varied attack—Redlands had nine different goal-scorers—from peppering reserve goalie Dana Christensen PZ ’15. The Sagehens, battling without any substitutes due to a thin squad and a number of injuries, could not keep pace with the unbridled Bulldogs. 

P-P, who is now both 1-2 overall and in SCIAC, will return to action this Saturday at 1 p.m., looking to even out their record against Occidental. The Tigers are 1-1 on the year, following a loss to Redlands and a surprising upset of CMS. 

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