It’s that time of the year again for the Pomona-Pitzer women’s lacrosse team (1-0, 1-0 SCIAC), and they're ready to gear up and take the field. It has been a long and grueling pre-season filled with hours of practice, a serious lifting schedule, and competitive scrimmages to make sure the Sagehens were ready to battle it out this season.
“We feel really excited going into our first game,” senior leader Katie Savino PO ’16 said. “We had a really long pre-season this year, so we’re definitely ready to start playing games.”
After putting in the work, the team is ready to see results. They have big shoes to fill: In the 2015 season, the team stood strong with a 15-4, 11-1 SCIAC record, and finished first in the conference, losing in NCAAs to No.1-ranked Trinity College. In their 19 games, the Hens put up 204 goals, at an average of 10.74 goals per game. With stats like these, it is no wonder the P-P lax took first in conference.
On Wednesday, Feb. 24, the Sagehens opened their season against rival Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Athenas (0-1, 0-1 SCIAC). When asked about what the team was feeling starting the season playing their biggest rivals, freshman player Hannah Chiu PZ ’19 responded, “CMS is a very competitive game to start out with, but it’s no more pressure than playing a team like Occidental [College] or [University of] Redlands. We are ready to start the season with a win.” Last season, P-P split games with CMS, losing the first game 8-7 but coming back and winning the second game 11-8.
It seems that the Sagehens wanted to keep this momentum going into the 2016 season. Within the first four minutes of the game, Rebecca Long PO ’17 scored the first goal with an assist from Aubrey Douglass PZ ’16. P-P kept driving hard with Douglass, Long, and Sarah Markowitz PZ’16 scoring three more goals before the end of the half. Seconds before the half was over, Corie Hack CM '19 put CMS on the board. P-P was up 4-1 at the end of the half.
In the second half, Zoe Pinczower CM '17 scored first, keeping the Athenas in the game. P-P fought back, coming back with a goal from Lilly Thomey PO ’19 and two from Markowitz, giving the Sagehens a 7-2 lead over the Athenas. CMS wasn’t ready to quit yet. They came back and scored back-to-back goals from Katie Hill CM '18 and Christina Coffin CM '16. As the Athenas started to rally, Markowitz made a hard drive to keep the Sagehens ahead with her fourth goal of the game.
With three minutes left in the game, the Athenas tried to come back as Hill scored again. Her effort wasn’t enough to start a rally, and CMS fell to the Sagehens 8-5.
So what can we expect from the Sagehens the rest of this season? “We have some strong returners and also some good incoming freshman, so we are looking forward to how the team develops over the season,” Savino said. In fact, the team has seven returning seniors along with three juniors. “I think we have great leadership this season,” Chiu said, referring to the number of upperclassmen. “The team also has great chemistry after only a few short months, and that helps a lot.”
The Sagehens play again on Saturday, Feb. 27, at Occidental at 1 p.m. and hope to start a strong winning streak.