The women’s lacrosse team continued to use its new offensive strategy and extended its winning streak to four games on Wednesday with a 14-9 win at Occidental College. This is the Panthers’ fourth straight double-digit win.
The second-place Panthers have three games left to determine their ranking in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, which decides their seed for playoffs.
“Right now, the wins are important because we are finishing up our games in league and every point counts,” said freshman defender Ally Kroeckel. “We want to finish our season strong. We have a lot of seniors and juniors graduating so this is our chance to play to our full potential before they graduate.
The Panthers began to pull away by the end of the first half against third-place Occidental and led by two at halftime. The team went on a 5-1 run quickly after halftime and outscored the Tigers 9-6 in the second half to seal the win.
“At this point in our season, our coach says it’s not about adding but subtracting and refining to try to polish everything we have been working on,” Kroeckel said. “So that means improving on the base plays and defenses we have been learning since the beginning of the season.”
Junior midfielder Becka Wachtel led the Panthers in offense with five goals, while the Tigers’ freshman midfielder Alessandra Pelliccia contributed four goals for her team.
“The new offense is tailored to bring out people’s strengths,” Kroeckel said. “From a defender’s perspective, I think it’s going to make us super successful in the end.”
The Panther’s new offense – which protects more against counterattacks – has now produced four consecutive wins with scoring in the double digits.
“Our team chemistry has developed a lot,” Kroeckel said. “There are a lot of freshmen on the team, so we had to adapt and learn to work together, but now I couldn’t ask for a better team. We have games where we play seamlessly together and once that happened, we knew what we were capable of.”
The Panthers’ next game will be Saturday at home against fourth-place University of Redlands at 7 p.m.