Lacrosse starts season with 3-1 record

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Author: Damien Mendieta

The women’s lacrosse team beat out the Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens last Saturday to improve its SCIAC record to 2-1. A 3-3 tie at halftime was broken when Tigers Beebe Finch-Sanders (first-year) and Sarah Kessler (sophomore) fired in two shots within the opening seconds of regulation. The Hens squad struggled to score as the Tigers notched their third victory. Occidental is currently second overall in SCIAC, trailing the Bulldogs’ 4-0 record.

Although the Tigers’ defense wasn’t flawless, Occidental had 12 turnovers compared to Pomona-Pitzer’s 18. The Hens’ offense was also unusually absent. Last week Pomona-Pitzer star and SCIAC Female Student-Athlete of the Week Martha Marich scored 11 goals against Whittier; however, Marich was held to just two goals in the Tigers’ victory. 

While Pomona-Pitzer tallied 14 saves, the Occidental keeper, Adrienne Ruth (first-year), had just 5, proving that Occidental did not give the Hens a chance to get to the goal.

Head Coach Michele Ulfelder commended the Tigers  for their endurance and perserverence against the Hens. “We hung tough and played the clock out,” Uhlfelder said. 

“Some experience and a little bit more depth kicked in for us at the end of the game.”

The team also recently defeated lacrosse powerhouse Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (CMS) after dropping one against Redlands. The victory over CMS was the first for the Tigers, after a string of six consecutive losses to the Athenas. A string of five goals assured the Tigers a secure lead to open the second half, after a tight 4-6 first half at Jack Kemp Stadium.  

Coach Ulfelder praised the victory over CMS displayed the caliber of Tigers lacrosse.  “I’m really proud of them. They have worked really hard and it’s nice to have a win like this to validate their effort,” Ulfelder said. 

“Our kids are learning to play at the highest level. This win has its place in the evolution of our program.” 

The last time Occidental came even close to beating the Athenas was a seven goal loss on April 2, 2011 in a 16-9 loss.

Leading the way offensively were Kessler and Isabel Osgood-Roach (junior), with four sinkers a piece. In her college debut, goalie Adrienne Ruth notched nine saves, after missing the first match against the Bulldogs due to illness.  The Tiger’s defense and offense  readily tore through brief gaps in a powerful CMS squad. Last year, the Athenas compiled a perfect 10-0 SCIAC on their way to repeat as SCIAC champions.

The Tigers played against Adrian College in a non-conference game Monday Feb. 27. Results were unavailable as we went to press. Next Saturday, women’s lacrosse returns to SCIAC play, hosting Whittier who is currently 0-3 this season.

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