Win over Whittier puts women’s lacrosse in second place

The women’s lacrosse team beat Whittier College 20-11 in a conference home game March 8. The result puts the Panthers in second place in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC).

Senior midfielder Kelsey Mackin led Chapman with five goals as four other Panthers had at least three goals. Mackin is tied for third-highest individual scorer in the SCIAC.

“We came out with the W but fundamentally, we didn’t execute the win exactly how we had hoped to,” Mackin said. “Regardless of who we face, we like to hold ourselves to the standard of playing our kind of lacrosse, and tonight that standard was in question a little longer than we normally like.”

The Panthers (3-1, 3-1) allowed the Poets (1-4, 0-4) to get momentum back at the start of the each half, but the Panthers’ six-goal burst right before halftime helped their lead stay out of Whittier’s reach.

The Panthers’ offense had a productive first half and went into halftime leading 12-5. The Poets responded in the second half with six goals, but the Panthers maintained the lead by at least five goals for the final 25 minutes of the game.

Junior midfielder Becka Wachtel, freshman midfielder Danelle Lucero and junior midfielder Stacey Zuppa each scored hat-tricks. Sophomore Danielle Zahn added four goals of her own, while senior goalkeeper Tara Sonnemaker had eight saves.

“We got to cycle through a lot rotations tonight,” Mackin said. “We had subs ready to take the field, and players shifting up and down the field in position. It was awesome to see a lot of our younger players step up and be versatile in what was asked of them. We also have (freshman midfielder Annicka Ekvall) back, so we’re pretty excited to have her back in center dictating the draw.”

Ekvall is a transfer from the University of Louisville who had been unavailable for the Panthers since getting injured during the team’s first week of practices this season. She scored the Panthers’ 17th goal of the game in her first competitive appearance for Chapman.

“We have so much potential,” Mackin said. “Our freshmen make up a huge portion of our roster, and there is so much raw talent there. We’re going to continue to be successful if we can keep pushing them to play bigger, faster and smarter than they think they can.”

The Panthers next host New England College in a non-conference game March 12 at 1 p.m.

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