CORRECTION: The Panther originally reported that the women’s lacrosse team must remain in fourth place in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. In fact, six teams make the conference tournament and Chapman has already clinched a spot.
The Chapman women’s lacrosse team grabbed a 12-8 victory over Whittier Wednesday night before losing to Pomona-Pitzer 14-4.
Chapman now sits in fourth place in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) with two regular season games remaining. The team has clinched a birth in the conference tournament.
Chapman needs to remain in the top four to earn a bid into the conference tournament.
“I believe the key to our victory tonight (against Whittier) was our teamwork from end line to end line,” said sophomore goalie Tara Sonnemaker. “When the offense moved the ball and created some backside looks we were successful. Being patient and poised with the ball led to our success tonight.”
Junior midfielder Brooke Martini and junior attack Kylee Moore made it 2-0 for the Panthers early in the first half, before Whittier responded through junior midfielder Rebekah Delledera to pull one back for the Poets. However, a pair of goals from sophomore attack Gretchen Rodenberger and another from Moore made it 5-1 for the Panthers with 16 minutes remaining in the half. Whittier scored twice to cut the lead with just less than five minutes left in the half, but two more Panther goals saw Chapman go into halftime leading 7-3.
A second-half, five-goal run from the Panthers effectively put the game out of reach for the Poets at 11-4, but they responded with a run of their own to score the final four goals of the game to end the contest in a 12-8 Panther victory. Senior defender Meesha Robinson’s second half hat trick was the highlight of the game for Whittier, while freshman midfielder Becka Watchtel, Moore, Rodenberger and Martini’s hat tricks summarized the scoring for the Panthers.
“There were definitely some times where I think we took some mental breaks and let Whittier get some chances that we shouldn’t have given them,” Sonnemaker said. “But what I love about this team is that we are smart lacrosse players and know how to bounce back. We have been good about not losing our heads and having short memories.”
Against Pomona-Pitzer, Chapman fell behind early, surrendering eight straight goals by the Sagehens before Chapman finally scored with less than five minutes left in the half when junior attack Allison Camp found sophomore attack Gretchen Rodenberger.
Chapman chipped away at the lead again after Pomona-Pitzer scored five straight runs to start the second half.
Chapman scored three goals in less than ten minutes, but the comeback attempt was far too little, far too late.
Chapman will finish up the regular season with a pair of games this week, starting on the road against Occidental Wednesday at 7 p.m. and at home against Claremont-MuddScripps Saturday at 7 p.m.