Chapman’s women’s lacrosse team held on to defeat Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 13-9 in the first round of the SCIAC Championships at Wilson Field Wednesday night.
“We came out strong, since it could have potentially been our last game,” said sophomore midfielder Kylee Moore. “We need to do the little things right and mentally prepare ourselves. Our team also needs to work on intensity over composure.”
All six SCIAC teams made the tournament, with the top two teams receiving a first round bye. Chapman, the fourth seeded team in the tournament, was matched up with the fifth seeded Claremont in a rematch of the final regular season game.
“Coming together as a team at each game is really important. We have to put our all out and not only play for each other, but for ourselves,” said senior attack Allie Kontny.
Chapman’s sophomore midfielder Brooke Martini struck first, scoring less than two minutes into the game.
Claremont scored three consecutive goals in the first half, two by freshman midfielder Zoe Pinczower, and the other by junior attack Hilary Slauson.
“Things we did in the last game, such as being consistent, control, and keeping calm, were things we tried to implement in this game, but things were uglier,” said junior attack Michelle Mendoza.
Still, the Panthers were able to defeat the Athenas for the second time in five days, scoring five straight goals in the second half.
Freshman midfielder Gretchen Rodenberger scored two goals in the first half, including the go-ahead goal in the last seconds before half time.
Chapman was tied with Claremont 5-5 with only 16 seconds remaining in the first half of the game and kept the lead throughout the second half.
Kontny scored two goals less than three minutes apart in the second half, keeping Chapman in the lead, 8-6.
“We hit some bumps throughout the game, and at the end we got a little lazy,” Kontny said. “ This wasn’t the prettiest win we’ve had, and we learn from our mistakes each time.”
Martini scored her third goal of the night with 12:16 remaining in the game, extending Chapman’s lead to 12-6.
Kontny and the rest of the team responded with one final goal with 1:56 left, right after Claremont scored three consecutive goals, cutting Chapman’s lead in half.
“The opposing team came out with more intensity and fought really hard,” Mendoza said. “I think we expected that we were going to win and underestimated the other team.”
Claremont outshot Chapman 22-12 in the game. Senior goalie Kara Podesta finished the night with nine saves.
The Panthers are back in the SCIAC Championship semifinals for the second time in Chapman’s two seasons in the conference.
“On Saturday we played really well, which was a good opportunity in seeing how the other team played,” said head coach Brian Eisenberg. “We saw and learned from their mistakes, which gave us an advantage. There were both periods of greatness and times where we didn’t do so well throughout the game.”
The Panthers will travel to top seeded Pomona-Pitzer for a SCIAC Championship semifinal matchup April 26 at a time yet to be announced.