The Occidental women’s lacrosse team (8-3 overall, 5-1 SCIAC) will look to bounce back from losses to Colorado College and Redlands and regain its lead in the SCIAC standings as it enters the final quarter of the 2014 season. The Tigers had their perfect conference record dashed by reigning SCIAC champion Redlands on Saturday, falling 12-9.
“Coming off a tough non-conference schedule, we were excited to start conference play back up again,” Occidental head coach Stephanie Janice said. “We are definitely looking forward to being the inspired underdog.”
The Redlands match-up was a battle of the best teams in the conference and neither squad was able to gain an advantage during the game. Sophomore Mackenzie Wright led the Tigers, tallying a team-high three goals and drawing first blood for Occidental just 2:28 minutes into the game.
The Bulldogs were quick to answer back with a goal of their own as midfielder Stephanie Garrett (sophomore) netted her first of a match-high five goals just a minute and a half after Wright’s.
Five different Tigers found the back of the net during the contest, with juniors Alida Beck and Beebe Finch Sanders both scoring twice.
“Redlands is always a tough competition for us,” midfielder Rebecca Belding (senior) said. “Offensively, everyone on the team was involved. Defensively, we weren’t able to beat them on their home turf.”
The Tigers hope that they will be able to use the defeat as a learning tool moving forward.
“Our three season losses are just as important as our eight wins because we have learned a lot from them,” Janice said. “We had a few defensive breakdowns and just did not do a lot of the little things right that led to big changes on the scoreboard.”
According to Janice, the squad will focus on addressing the minor concerns raised by the three losses that could act as microcosms for larger miscues down the road.
“This week, we will focus on the small offensive and defensive tasks we need to accomplish in order to play our game,” Janice said.
In addition to three All-SCIAC selections in Belding, Sanders and Tori Larson (senior), goalie Kirsten Hee (sophomore) has emerged as the black and orange’s defensive anchor.
“[Hee] has been awesome playing in the goal this season, almost making double-digit saves in every game,” Janice said. “To be able to have that confidence on our defensive end gives us a sharp defensive edge.”
The Tigers will attempt to rebound from back-to-back losses tonight, hosting Chapman at 7 p.m. at Jack Kemp Stadium.
“Every week, our main goal is to focus on each upcoming game and playing the best that we can,” defender Samantha Stewart (sophomore) said. “Ultimately, we want to be the SCIAC champion and play in the NCAA Tournament.”