The Pomona-Pitzer women’s lacrosse team defeated MIT 22-12 March 28 before the 10-0 University of Redlands snapped the Sagehens’ five-game winning streak this past Wednesday, riding an energetic second half to an 18-10 victory. With the two decisions, P-P maintained its .500 winning percentage, but the loss to Redlands, a SCIAC foe, drops the Sagehens to 1-4 in conference play.
The Sagehens completed their slate of non-conference games by soundly beating MIT. Martha Marich PO ’12 catalyzed the win for P-Ps once again, scoring eight of her 13 shots on goal and registering an assist. Logan Galansky PO ’14 and Jana London PZ ’14 put in their usual assured performances as well, netting six and five goals respectively. The duo also combined for seven assists, a majority of those coming in a dominant second-half effort.
Despite tallying the contest’s opening four goals and stymieing the Engineers attack until 18 minutes remained in the first half, the Sagehens entered the intermission at a one-goal deficit. P-P turned the game on its head in the second half as three separate runs of four-or-more goals propelled the hosts to an easy win. Julie Necarsulmer PO ’15 and Kaitlin Jones PZ ’14 aided the aforementioned trio, each scoring once in the emphatic, 14-3 second stanza.
The Sagehens were 1-5 on the season on March 5 following their loss to Fort Lewis College. Following that defeat, however, P-P reversed its fortunes; the victory over MIT was the culmination of a fantastic month in which the soaring squad ended with five consecutive wins. Marich attributes her team’s newfound success to a number of reasons.
“I think our season has turned around because we’ve been working super hard in practice and have used March and our non-SCIAC games to improve on some key areas like our transitions, ground balls and team defense,” Marich said. “We’ve put in some new plays and have started to work together much better, especially on attack. We’ve also become really close as a team off the field, which has definitely helped our on-field cohesion.”
Even with their host of improvements, the Sagehens still could not properly match up with an undefeated Redlands squad. The Bulldogs won the first of the rivals’ two games 18-9 back in February and showcased their superiority with another impressive display in Claremont. P-P, however, can take heart in its excellent first-half performance as the SCIAC opponents were locked at seven upon the completion of the tilt’s opening 30 minutes.
The Bulldogs unfortunately mimicked the Sagehens of the week before, commencing the second half with five quick goals to really put the game out of P-P’s reach.
Redlands contained an ill (and injured, following a few collisions) Marich—before the game, she said, “I’ve been pretty sick lately with strep throat. I missed practice this week, but I’m going to play today and just hope I feel OK”—who managed only a hat-trick, a still notable output, but one below her normal standard. Galansky was the engine for P-P, collecting passes and ground balls in the midfield and storming toward Redlands’ net. The Colorado native was rewarded with four goals for her effort.
The Sagehens expected the stiff competition as the Bulldogs currently lead SCIAC and should secure the conference’s top seed for the playoffs.
“Heading into the second round of SCIAC, I expect to face four good teams and play four tough games,” Marich said before the contest.
The senior, though, is still optimistic for the remaining conference games.
“I think we are a very different team than when we played the first round, but every other team in SCIAC has gotten stronger too,” Marich said. “I am confident that we can beat all of these teams, but we are going to have to fight hard and play our best to do so.”
The Sagehen team has a chance to improve its playoff positioning and prove its worth in SCIAC tomorrow when they will host the 6-7 CMS Athenas.