The women’s lacrosse team lost 15-9 against conference leader Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, the team the Panthers defeated last season to advance to the conference semifinals.
The Athenas, fresh off an undefeated run and a 21-0 win over Whittier College, carried their offensive momentum into Saturday’s game to give the second-place Panthers their first loss of the season.
The Panthers started the game off allowing the Athenas a 6-1 lead with 10 minutes left in the first half, before kicking it into gear to score three goals within the next two minutes. The second half saw the Panthers make a small comeback with a quick one-point lead, before the Athenas gained control to end the game.
“It’s just going to make us work harder, we know what we need to do now,” said junior midfielder Becka Wachtel. “We just need to control the game. We have so much talent on the team and we’re looking forward to growing from here.”
Senior midfielder Kelsey Mackin led the Panthers with three goals, followed closely by Wachtel and freshman attacker Leah Donnelly, who scored two goals each. Senior goalkeeper Tara Sonnemaker’s 12 saves kept the Panthers from a heavier defeat as the Athenas managed 27 shots in the game compared to Chapman’s 17.
“I always have things that I’m looking to work on, but I think in the first quarter of the first half we played absolutely amazing on defense,” Sonnemaker said. “We’re a pretty young team, but this is a good wake-up call for us. We need more intensity at practice.”
Sonnemaker added that when the team plays Claremont-Mudd-Scripps again, the Panthers will need to bring a better defense to the field.
“Going up against (the Athenas) again, we need a defense that is less passive and we need to bring it to them more,” Sonnemaker said. “We gave them too much room on defense this game and we need to fix that.”
The Panthers host last-place Whittier – who they beat in all three matchups last season – on Wednesday, March 8 in their next conference game at 7 p.m.