The Pomona-Pitzer Women’s Lacrosse team lost a pair of tough conference games to league leaders Chapman University and University of Redlands.
The Sagehens knew that Redlands, the defending SCIAC champion, would be a tough Senior Night opponent. The Bulldogs entered the game with a conference-best 6-1 record and +39 goal differential thanks to a deep and balanced attack that features 11 double-digit goal scorers.
The first half was a defensive struggle, with two goals from Redlands in the opening minutes followed by over 11 minutes of scoreless play. The Sagehens finally got on the board with a goal from Jana London PZ ’14 to make it a 2-1 game.
However, the Sagehens wouldn’t score again until there was 12:16 left in the second half. In that stretch, the Bulldogs went on 8-0 run spanning the halves that put them firmly in control of the game. Alexa Sarussi PO’15 scored three goals in three minutes, but it was too little, too late as Redlands finished with a 12-5 victory.
“The Redlands game was all about possession, and in the end, we just didn’t win enough draws and get enough shots off,” Sarussi said. “Nevertheless, we really fought till the end and showed that we have the heart to win these last few games of the season.”
The Bulldogs outshot the Sagehens 28-15, picked up 18 ground balls, and won 12 draw controls to the Sagehens’ nine. London, whose 54 goals lead the conference, was held to a single goal for just the second time all season.
“These last two games against Chapman and Redlands have been tough losses, but there’s also been moments that really show the strength of our team,” Logan Galansky PO ’14 said. “In the Redlands game, we possessed the ball well on attack and had some great defensive stands. Now we just need to focus on cleaning up the little errors and getting back to executing at the high level of play that I know we’re capable of.
The Sagehens’ game against Chapman on Friday was their first conference matchup after a month of non-conference play during which they went 5-2. The first half was a close, high-scoring affair, with neither team able to pull away from the other. Chapman struck first, but London, Emma Molloy PZ ‘13, and Audrey Douglass PZ ’16 scored in a span of three minutes to give the Sagehens a 3-1 lead.
Chapman then came back with three goals of its own. London got one back on a free position shot, but the Panthers scored two goals for a 6-4 lead with seven minutes left in the first half. The Sagehens regained the lead with a three-goal run that included free position goals from London and Ally McLaughlin PO ’15, but Chapman closed the half out with a man-up goal and a free position shot to take an 8-7 lead at halftime.
London opened the second half with an unassisted goal to even the score at eight apiece, but the Panthers took control with a 5-0 run as the Sagehens struggled to find the back of the net. P-P wouldn’t score again until London put in her fifth goal of the game with 4:17 left. Two final Chapman goals would bring the final score to 15-9.
The Panthers dominated possession in the second half, outshooting the Sagehens 20-11 and winning 13 ground balls. Despite London’s five goals, the Sagehens struggled to finish on the offensive end. The game marked the first time all season that captain Logan Galansky PO ’14, whose 25 assists lead SCIAC, failed to record an assist.
The Sagehens remained in fourth place in the conference with the pair of losses. The top four teams qualify for SCIAC playoffs. The Sagehens will continue conference play on the road with games at Occidental College on Saturday and at cross-street rival Claremont-Mudd-Scripps on Wednesday. Galansky was optimistic about the team’s chances to perform at a high level against SCIAC competition, saying, “Our goal all season has been to win the SCIAC tournament, and I’m still fully confident that we can do that.”