Redlands No Longer Invincible, Hens Earn Top Tournament Seed

In a battle for the No. 1 seed in the SCIAC tournament, Pomona-Pitzer’s women’s lacrosse team defeated the University of Redlands 14-13 in a quadruple overtime, sudden-death win on Saturday, April 19. The win was the sixth straight league victory for the Sagehens (15-3, 8-2 SCIAC) as they head into the SCIAC Championships.

P-P fell behind 4-0 in the first seven minutes of the match. Stephanie Garrett scored two of the four Redlands goals to help put her team in front, but the Sagehens rallied. P-P scored five unanswered goals with 10 minutes remaining in the first half, bringing the score to 5-4 in its favor. The Sagehen run started with an unassisted goal from Rebecca Long PO ’17. Aubrey Douglass PZ ’16 followed with another goal 30 seconds later to bring the Hens within two. Then, a goal by Alexa Sarussi PO ’15 and another by Douglass tied the score at 4-4. Jana London PZ ’14 scored the fifth unanswered goal to put the Sagehens on top. Unfortunately for the Hens, that lead was short-lived, and, with four minutes left in the half, Garrett scored her third goal of the match to tie the score at 5-5 going into halftime.

When asked about the first half, Hannah Christenson PO ’17 said focus played a major role in recovering from the shaky start.

“I think that the key was our focus rather than our confidence,” Christenson said. “That’s not the first time that we’ve started a game with a deficit, and I think that sometimes it just takes us a little while to focus—but when we do focus, our level of play is so much better.”

The second half started with another five-goal run by the Sagehens. London started the half by scoring her second goal of the match to put P-P up 6-5. Christenson and Douglass scored back-to-back goals, giving Douglass three for the match. Christenson scored her second goal of the match on a free-position shot to put the Sagehens on top 9-5. Finally, London scored the Sagehens’ fifth unanswered goal in a row, giving her a hat trick and putting the Hens up 10-5.

Redlands did not go away easily, however. After exchanging goals twice, the score was 12-7 with the Sagehens leading. Then, Jacky Craycraft of Redlands scored three goals in four minutes to make the score 12-10 and swing momentum in favor of the Bulldogs. A Redlands goal with 3:44 left in the match cut the Sagehen lead to one. With 49 seconds left to go, Garrett scored her sixth goal of the match to send the game into overtime.

When asked about what she told her team before overtime, head coach Sarah Queener had a simple answer.

“Winning—we talked about how good it would feel to win,” Queener said. “We already knew what losing to Redlands in overtime felt like from our first-round game, so we wanted to see what it felt like to beat Redlands in triple overtime.”

In the first overtime period, Redlands scored a goal with 53 seconds left to take a 13-12 lead. As time was running out for the Sagehens in the second overtime period, Ally McLaughlin PO ’16 scored on a free-position shot to tie the score at 13-13 and send the match into sudden death. 

In the first sudden-death period, neither team scored. However, in the second sudden-death period, the fourth overtime period of the match, Long scored with 2:25 left, giving the Sagehens a 14-13 win as P-P clinched the No. 1 seed in the SCIAC tournament.

When asked about her game-winning goal, Long credited her teammates.

“It was a fantastic moment because it wouldn’t have happened without the work of the whole team,” Long said. “Our defense kept an entire three-minute sudden-death overtime scoreless, and then Ally [McLaughlin] had an incredible draw control. I just happened to be on the end of the last pass.”

As the No. 1 seed, P-P has a bye for the first round of the SCIAC tournament. The Sagehens will face the winner of the Chapman University vs. Claremont-Mudd-Scripps match in the semifinals of the tournament tomorrow, April 26 at 11 a.m. at home.

With playoffs on the horizon, the Sagehens are looking forward to their upcoming semifinal match.

“We’re pretty excited to have earned the No. 1 seed for the conference tournament and love the fact that we’ve earned the right to host the games on our turf,” Queener said. “It’s also pretty nice to get a bye on Wednesday and a couple extra days to practice.”

“We are going one game at a time, and we’re going to bring 150 percent,” Long said.

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