The Pomona-Pitzer women’s lacrosse team (10-7, 5-5 SCIAC) celebrated its lone senior, Sal Marx PO ’18, with a 17-14 win over the University of Redlands Bulldogs (7-10, 3-7 SCIAC) April 22 in its final regular season game.
With intense, aggressive play, the Saghens racked up 12 goals within the first period, including seven scores in a row, to secure a 12-5 lead over the Bulldogs in the first half.
The Bulldogs regrouped and managed to reply to each of the Saghens’ goals at the start of the second half with one or two of their own, cutting the lead to five.
But P-P responded with 11:39 remaining, as Lily Hermann PZ ’21 assisted Kate Immergluck PO ’21, who scored the Sagehens’ 16th goal of the night. This was soon followed by a quick pass from Marx that let Sophie Hubbell PZ ’20 regain the seven-goal lead.
While the Bulldogs wrestled for the victory with more aggressive play, scoring four consecutive goals in the final minutes, the Sagehens persisted with strong defense and ultimately prevailed.
Sarah Woo PZ ’21 was especially proud of the team’s ability to stick to its plays, despite the Bulldogs’ shifting strategies.
“In the past few games before that, we had been having a hard time piecing together a full game and were experiencing a sort of mental block that got in the way of us playing to our full potential,” she said.
With the win, the Sagehens secured third place in the SCIAC standings, and ensured that they wouldn’t have to face powerhouse Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (16-1, 10-0 SCIAC) in the first round of the conference tournament. However, the Sagehens’ main focus was on winning the match in honor of Marx.
“We went in expecting and wanting to win and it was great to see that happen,” Lauren English PO ’19 said. “It was sad to have my last home game with Sal, but also great to win at home and celebrate with her.”
Woo noted how senior day helped the team come together and play to their strengths on the field.
“It was fun to honor Sal, since she is our only senior and has given so much of herself to the team this year, and [to the] program for her four years,” she said. “I just wanted her last bit to be the best it could possibly be.”
Marx’s younger teammates feel bittersweet about losing a key player on the field.
“I will miss … Sal’s love for the game and for the team and her incredible work ethic,” English said.
In addition to her inspirational play on the field, Woo expressed how much the team has appreciated Marx’s off-field support.
“I am going to miss her check-ins,” English said. “She always asks me how I really am, and genuinely wants to actually know versus just saying it to say it. … She is patient and lets things work out with time, and I will miss her steadfast demeanor.”
Marx said her final season for the Sagehens was a memorable one.
“I am most proud of the heart on this team, and [being able] to lead a group of individuals who genuinely care for, support, and push each other to be our best on and off the field,” she said.
Marx’s career is not over yet — P-P hopes to play plenty more lacrosse with her in the postseason. That starts Saturday, when the Sagehens take on the Occidental Tigers (12-5, 8-2 SCIAC) in the conference semifinals.
In their two previous matches against Oxy, the Sagehens suffered narrow losses of 14-13 and 16-11, but think a win this weekend is within reach.
“If everyone on the team steps up and plays their best, if not a notch higher than what they think they can do, we will be able to do great things,” Woo said. “It is a team goal to win SCIACs, and I know that if we work hard and do what we need to do, we can do that.”