The Pomona-Pitzer women’s lacrosse team extended its winning streak to three games this past Saturday with a 16-11 win over Whittier College. The win boosted the Sagehens’ record to 3-2 in conference, good enough for third place in SCIAC.
The Sagehens were coming off two extremely close and exciting wins over rivals Claremont-Mudd-Scripps and Occidental College, and Whittier was still looking for its first win of the season, so the game seemed to be a tough matchup for both teams. The Sagehens were able to carry over the momentum from the overtime win and took a early 3-0 lead on goals from Kaitlin Jones PZ ‘14, Jana London PZ ’14, and Alexa Sarussi PO ’15 in the span of a minute. The Sagehens never looked back as these goals gave them all the cushion they needed, and they never trailed the rest of the game.
Whittier scored twice to draw within one, but Emilyn Foxen PO ’16 delivered her first goal of the season to give the Sagehens a 4-2 lead. After another Whittier goal, the Sagehens scored four in a row to take an 8-3 advantage. Whittier scored twice more to draw within two, but Sarussi closed out the half with her third goal, and the Hens took a 9-5 lead into halftime.
The Sagehens kept rolling after halftime, with an Emma Molloy PZ ’13 goal a minute into the half. After Whittier scored, Sarussi buried a free position shot, and London scored three straight for the Hens. This surge gave the Sagehens a 14-6 lead, their largest of the game. Whittier allowed just two more goals over the final 20 minutes, but the Sagehens had an insurmountable lead and cruised to the 16-11 victory.
“Whittier could have had a completely different outcome,” London said, “but we played our game.”
London and Sarussi both had a game-high four goals, and Molloy contributed a game-high four assists. Ally McLaughlin PO ’16 had five caused turnovers and five saves, splitting time in goal with Casey Leek PZ ’13. The two goalkeepers combined for 10 saves and held the Poets to just 4-11 on free position shots.
“Going into the Whittier game, we had a lot of momentum from our big win against CMS,” Sarussi said. “We knew they had some good individuals, but we really just played as a team like we have been in our last few games, and that enabled us to finish our first round of SCIAC games with another win.”
Through the first round of conference play, the Sagehens have had some outstanding performances thus far. London’s 19 goals so far this season are tied for most in the SCIAC, and Leek’s 50 saves and .476 save percentage are both second in the conference. The Sagehens are also converting a conference-high 58 percent of their free position shots.
Taking a short break from SCIAC play, P-P has a string of nonconference games coming up against several East Coast teams, beginning with Susquehanna University on Monday and King’s College on Tuesday. Susquehanna is coming off a 15-2 season and returns their three leading scorers, so they look poised to have another great season and should be a good test for the Sagehens.
“[The win was a] nice end to the first round of SCIAC play,” London said. “After forming and storming, we are now norming as a team. We are excited for the month to come with lots of visiting schools allowing us to practice new things before round two.”