The Pomona-Pitzer women’s lacrosse team had a busy week at home with back-to-back contests on Monday and Tuesday. The Sagehens split the games with one win and one loss, bringing their overall record to 4-3 and making them 4-2 on their home turf.
The win came on Tuesday night against the King’s College (Pa.) Monarchs when the Sagehens went on to outscore their opponents 15-12 in an important victory for the team’s morale.
During the game, after excellent defense from the Monarchs kept the score close going into halftime, the Sagehens faced a difficult task in maintaining their delicate 5-3 lead until the final whistle. Determined to come out on top, however, they dug deep and exploded out of the gates to go on an impressive 6-1 run in the first four minutes of the second half, leaving them with a comfortable 14-5 lead with just over 15 minutes left to play. Alexa Sarussi PO ’15 started off the second half scoring for the Hens, sneaking the ball into the back of the net after an assist from Jana London PZ ’14. The Monarchs responded with a goal of their own less than 30 seconds later.
Not to be outdone, the Hens kept up their momentum and scored five unanswered goals in the next three minutes, led off by a score by London on an assist by Logan Galansky PO ’14. Galansky would set up London for two more goals in that three-minute span. For the time being, the game seemed securely in favor of the Hens.
The seemingly insurmountable lead proved to be not quite as comfortable as the Sagehens expected. King’s College battled their way back into the game with seven goals in the last 12 minutes to come within three of the Sagehens. Fortunately for P-P, their defensive line, led by goalie Casey Leek PZ ’13, held off the charge of the Monarchs just long enough to have time expire with the Hens ahead on the scoreboard. During the contest, Kaitlin Jones PZ ’14 and Sarussi each contributed two goals for P-P, but the team was arguably led to victory by two of its seasoned veterans, Galansky and London. London led the team in scoring with six goals while Galansky contributed an equally impressive six assists and a goal of her own. Uninterested in accepting credit for the team’s performance, the story of the game, according to Galansky, was more about a “display of depth and resiliency by the Sagehens as a whole” than attention to individual statistics.
This team-oriented narrative expressed by Galansky should be of no surprise to fans who have attended any of the Sagehens’ games this year. Although they possess similar amounts of outstanding individual talent as past squads, this shift in dynamic seems to be rooted in a newfound willingness to work together in the face of significant challenges. In fact, it is quite evident from watching the team play that this group, much more than in past years, enjoys working together and wins or loses as a cohesive unit. This willingness was on full display in their Tuesday night performance when they had to battle back emotionally from a difficult defeat less than 24 hours before at the hands of Susquehanna University.
During that less successful Monday night game, the Sagehens hosted Susquehanna in a 17-7 loss that ended their three-game winning streak. The game started rough for P-P as they found themselves the victims of an 8-0 run in the first half and a 12-3 deficit at the break. Despite great individual efforts from many of the Sagehens, the team was unable to turn the tides in the second half to come out with a win. P-P was led in scoring by Julie Necarsulmer PO ’15, who had three goals in the contest, and Galansky, who had a goal and two assists. Other impressive performances during the game came from the young talent on the team, as the first-year class came up big with Aubrey Douglass PZ ’16, Grace Geller PZ ’16, and Sarah Markowitz PZ ’16 each scoring goals in the second half.
Despite the mixed outcome of results this week, the team has taken an optimistic approach to thinking about the rest of the season going forward.
“I think the games highlighted that we need to play with the same level of energy throughout,” Leek said after Tuesday’s game. “I think the season is going well overall, but these past two games don’t represent our full potential. We need to use this next game and Spring Break to prepare ourselves for the next round of SCIACs in April.” With some of their most challenging contests ahead of them, the Sagehens certainly have their work cut out for them in the weeks to come.
P-P lacrosse will be back in action again at home on Saturday for a noon contest against Berry College.