Sagehens Hold On To Adavance To SCIAC Championship
Claremont, Calif. - The top-seeded Pomona-Pitzer Women's Lacrosse team built a 6-0 halftime lead and held on from there for a 10-6 win over fourth-seeded Chapman in the SCIAC semifinals on Saturday morning at the South Athletic Complex.
With the win, the Sagehens improve to 16-3 overall and 9-2 in SCIAC games, and will advance to host the championship game on Saturday, against the winner of Monday's semifinal between Occidental and Redlands (start time is to be determined). Chapman ends its season at 7-11 overall and 3-8 in SCIAC play with the loss.
Pomona-Pitzer appeared to be on its way to an easy win by halftime. Sophomore attacker Sarah Markowitz (pictured) had a goal and four assists to stake the Sagehens to a 5-0 lead, twice assisting freshman midfielder Hannah Christenson and twice assisting sophomore midfielder Ally McLaughlin. When freshman attacker Rebecca Long scored an unassisted goal with 3:33 left in the half, the Sagehens were able to take a commanding 6-0 lead into the break.
Chapman battled back, though, and closed to within 7-5 with 19:35 to play with five quick goals in the first 10:25 of the second half. Brooke Martini scored on the first possession after intermission, and after Christenson answered with her third, the Panthers scored four goals in a row, the last coming from Gretchen Rodenberger off a feed from Kylee Moore to make the score 7-5.
The score held at 7-5 for over 10 minutes, before Long ended the drought with 9:18 left on an unassisted goal after Chapman began to utilize a trapping defense. Catherine LaPlant scored an unassisted goal for the Panthers with 7:30 left to again cut the lead to two, but the Sagehens earned key possessions late, and sophomore attacker Aubrey Douglass (4:40) and McLaughlin (3:39) were both able to score goals into an empty net in the final five minutes after Chapman brought goalie Kara Podesta out of net to pressure the ball on the perimeter.
Podesta finished with five saves for Chapman, while Gaby Fukumura also had five to get the win for the Sagehens. Martini had two goals and an assist to lead the Panther offense.
Pomoma-Pitzer split with both Occidental and Redlands during the regular season, with both games against Redlands going to sudden death overtime. The Sagehens won at Redlands in the regular season finale 14-13 on a Long goal, which secured the top seed. Occidental defeated the Pomona-Pitzer 7-6 in overtime in February, and the Sagehens won the rematch at home 9-6 in April.