Senior captains Brita Loeb and Alessandra Quaroni got their first SCIAC win of the season in their last collegiate game on home turf when Occidental women’s lacrosse (1-8 SCIAC; 7-9 overall) beat Whittier College 14-9 April 20.
“It feels amazing,” Loeb said. “We’ve been working so hard for this and it’s really well-deserved. It’s not something that came easy, and that’s why it feels all the better.”
Sophomores Sierra Slack and Ciara Byrne were the Tigers’ top scorers with five and three goals, respectively, and first-years Shai Goodman and Madi Hallare followed close behind with two goals each.
The lower-division players have contributed strongly to the team throughout the season but had not manifested their talent with a SCIAC win until now. With a 7-9 season record, the Tigers were tied for fifth in the conference with Whittier due to a shaky start to the season.
“It hasn’t been the prettiest season, but this definitely was very well-deserved after all the effort that we have put in,” Quaroni said. “We put in a lot of hours to make things work and we’ve learned from all the stuff that we’ve been through.”
The Tigers had a losing streak in conference games at the beginning of the season but racked up wins in mid-season non-SCIAC play. Quaroni attributes this evolution to the collective growth of a young team.
“The confidence of all of our players improved,” Quaroni said.
Loeb said that her teammates have finally found a comfortable place on the field in their own positions as well as working with each other. She and Quaroni are proud of the team culture.
“This year there is no hierarchy and everyone can really count on each other and we all hold each other to similar standards,” Loeb said. “Obviously we want to win, but if we can’t win on the field, we’re winning with each other.”
Quaroni agrees that the team rallied each other well this season despite losses. She said the group is the most cohesive team she has played with at Oxy.
Senior Games Management PA Wilson Terrall announced at home games this season for women’s lacrosse, and their impressive team dynamic stood out to him.
“Especially this year, one thing that struck me about our women’s lacrosse team is their team camaraderie and how clearly it seems like they’re enjoying being around each other and having fun playing the game,” Terrall said.
In comparison to past teams as well as the other sports teams Terrall has watched in his college career, this year’s team appears to be having the most fun, he said.
“It shows on the field, in practice and when they’re out at night,” Terrall said.
Although the Tigers lost their last game against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps April 23 — falling to 7-10 overall and 1-9 in SCIAC play — they secured fifth place in the SCIAC by a tiebreaker with Whittier based on goals-against. The captains said that they and the rest of the Tigers have high hopes for the SCIAC Championships beginning April 27.