The Chapman women’s lacrosse team (5-10, 3-7) ended its regular season on a high note, blowing out Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference foe Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (9-8, 2-8) 13-4.
The win locked the Panthers into fourth place in the SCIAC. They play fifth place Pomona-Pitzer at 7 p.m. Saturday at Wilson Field in the first round of the postseason tournament.
Prior to Chapman’s victory over Claremont, the team fell 17-8 to Redlands (11-3, 8-1).
“In the first half our defense was good. We tried a new play in offense, but in the second half, we were off on our draws and should have been there more,” said sophomore midfielder Brooke Martini.
The Panthers struck first with a goal by freshman midfielder Tessa Oliaro.
“Our team had possession for the first eight minutes, which was probably the longest this season,” said junior attack Michelle Mendoza.
However, Chapman watched its early lead disappear, falling behind 2-1 before rallying back with four consecutive goals, including two goals by freshman midfielder Gretchen Rodenberger.
Redlands sophomore midfielder Stephanie Garrett answered quickly, scoring back-to-back goals and bringing the score to 6-5 before intermission.
The second half was all Redlands, as the Bulldogs outscored the Panthers 12-2, including a 9-0 run from Garrett.
“I think we got caught up. We play best when we slow down, and they adapted to what we were doing and put pressure on the ball,” said senior defender Catherine LaPlant. “We need to be patient and communicate better, and for our next game we need to work on transitions and have a solid defense.”
Redlands outshot Chapman 26-12 in the game. Senior goalie Kara Podesta finished the night with six saves.
Chapman managed to score two goals in the second half, the last of which sophomore attack Kylee Moore scored with two minutes left in the game.
“There were a few turnovers and a few bad calls,” said head coach Brian Eisenberg. “It was hard to come back against such a good team. If we can control more consistently and do it more often, our team can win.”
Chapman ended its three-game losing streak with a resounding ‘Senior Night’ victory over Claremont.
Chapman never trailed, due in large part to its defense, which limited Claremont to fewer shots, 10, than Chapman had goals, 13.
Moore kicked off the scoring for the night. She scored three of Chapman’s first four goals, and would finish four goals, a team high.
Chapman held a 4-1 lead heading into halftime. An offensive explosion was triggered in the second half, with the Panthers scoring nine goals, and holding a 10-goal lead before Hilary Slauson scored for Claremont with 16 seconds remaining.
LaPlant, Oliaro and Rodenberger each scored twice for Chapman as well. Oliaro added a team-high two assists.
Sports editor Michael Ambrose contributed to this report.