Sagehens Fall to Redlands, Emotional Roller Coaster Continues

The Pomona-Pitzer women’s lacrosse team (3-2, 3-2 SCIAC) lost a thrilling,
back-and-forth contest against the University of Redlands at home on Saturday, Feb. 22,
eventually falling in sudden-death overtime 12-11. The Sagehens’ loss was the second time they have
dropped a game in the SCIAC, both setbacks coming in overtime. Their first loss of the season
came a week before their game against Redlands in a Feb. 15 matchup at
Occidental College that ended 8-7. Apart from these setbacks, however, P-P started the 2014 season well, with back-to-back victories against
Whittier College and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps at home.

“Each loss was fought till the end in overtime games, which shows that we are still fierce competitors,” Gaby Fukumura PO ’17 said. “Overall, the team is feeling good about our start.”

In their victories against Whittier and CMS, the Sagehens were able to open up early leads—7-0 and 4-0,
respectively—and more or less hold on to them throughout the match, using the
early cushion to hold off comeback attempts by their opponents. The game against Redlands was a much different affair, and it was clear from the start that P-P
would be in a tight contest against the Bulldogs, who, like the Sagehens,
entered the game with a 3-1 record. For
most of the first half, the visitors traded blows with P-P. The Sagehens
threatened to temporarily break away midway through the first half when a quick
double-strike by Jana London PZ ’14 saw P-P open up a 5-2 lead.

To the
Bulldogs’ credit, they maintained composure in the ranks and were able to
pull back a few goals as halftime came, with the Sagehens holding onto a slim 6-5
advantage. P-P once again threatened to kill the game at the start of the
second half, when scores by London and Rebecca Long PO ’17 saw the hosts pull ahead 8-5. Redlands, however, was not willing to go down so easily like some of the Sagehens’ earlier opponents, and the Bulldogs’ comeback
was sealed with just over 10 minutes left in the game. Redlands’ Stephanie Garrett
scored twice in five minutes to level affairs at 9-9, breaching the defenses of P-P’s Fukumura, who otherwise had a strong game, twice in quick succession.

over a minute after Garrett’s second strike, Shannon Sunnergen scored to give
Redlands its first lead since the first six minutes of the match. P-P seemed shaken by the Bulldogs’ rally, and were tentative for the remainder of the
half, with Redlands keeper Gigja Hollyday putting in a strong performance. With
seconds left, Redlands’ lead stood at 10-9, and it seemed as if the Bulldogs
were destined to claim victory in regulation. P-P, however, was not quite
done, and, with just seven seconds left on the clock, a sensationally timely
goal by Kaitlin Jones PZ ’14 saw the Sagehens force the game into overtime.

In the
first period of overtime, it was P-P that displayed the stronger initial
impetus, as Ally McLaughlin PO ’16 scored to give the Sagehens the 11-10 lead.
Shortly afterward, P-P was presented with the perfect chance to wrap up the
result when they won the ball at the restart after the teams switched ends,
but their attempt only hit the post. Redlands made good
use of the reprieve, as Jacky Craycraft went down the other end and scored with
just over a minute remaining in the match. London then missed a chance for P-P before Redlands grabbed possession and charged down the field, only to see Fukumura save their last two efforts in the dying seconds of the first overtime period.

teams ended the first overtime tied at 11-11, and as a result moved into the sudden-death second overtime period. Craycraft had the first chance of the
period when the Bulldogs won initial possession of the ball, but missed the opportunity. With the Sagehens piling numbers in their defensive half in hopes of
repelling Redlands, Garrett, who ended the game tied with London as the top
scorer with four goals, picked up the ball on the right wing. Making an
authoritative run forward, the attacker was able to find space in the middle of
the field within range of the goal, and fired home to seal a 12-11 victory for
the Bulldogs. It was a tough loss to take for the Saghens, who are in the midst
of a minor injury crisis, but Fukumura said that the team is capable of bouncing back. 

“Even though
we lost, the team has kept their heads high in anticipation for a
rematch,” Fukumura said. “I feel that it will be a whole different game next time.”

the game, Redlands moved to a season record of 4-1, ranking second in the
SCIAC behind 4-0 Occidental. P-P sits one spot behind the Bulldogs in the
conference standings with a 3-2 record. Despite the dispiriting nature of
their most recent loss, the Sagehens remain confident that they can
continue to be a force in the division if they can marry their obvious
offensive firepower with more defensive solidity.

“I don’t think the statistics show all the
effort that this team has put into every day this season,” Fukumura said.

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