The Chapman women’s lacrosse team split its last two regular season games, losing on the road to Occidental 13-4 Wednesday, before defeating Claremont-Mudds-Scripps 14-8 at home Saturday.
Chapman (7-5, 5-5) will have to wait until Monday for the results of Redlands v. Pomona-Pitzer to find out when it will be playing its opening-round Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference tournament game. If Pomona-Pitzer (11-3, 8-1) wins, Redlands (9-6, 5-4) would then be in a three-way tie for third with Chapman and ClaremontMudd-Scripps (8-6, 5-5), with Chapman holding the tie breaker and the third seed if the Bulldogs fall.
If they’re the third seed, Chapman would host Whittier (2-13, 0-10) Wednesday. If the Sagehens win, Chapman will be the fifth seed and play Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Wednesday.
“I think our team performance tonight was amazing,” said junior midfielder Brooke Martini of the win against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps. “We came out strong in the first half and played our game. We played as a team tonight. On defense, we were communicating really well and making sure we had each other’s slides. On offense, we connected well with one another and didn’t have too many errors.”
Chapman found its offense in Saturday’s game, putting up 14 goals after scoring only four in each of their previous two games. Senior attack Michelle Mendoza, sophomore attack Gretchen Rodenberger and freshman midfielder Becka Watchtel opened the scoring for the Panthers to jump out to an early 3-0 lead before Claremont pulled one back, only for Chapman to respond through Rodenberger again.
Wachtel and Martini added goals for the Panthers before the end of the half to put the Panthers ahead 10-2 at halftime. Wachtel, Mendoza and Kylee Moore made it 13-3 early in the second half, but five unanswered goals from the Athenas made things interesting for a time before Moore had the final goal to guide the Panthers home to a 14-8 victory.
“When we lost to Oxy, it was rough because we had them at the end of the half 4-3 but for some reason we lost our momentum and ended up losing big,” Martini said. “Coming into tonight’s game, as a team we made to sure to go in with a clear mind and knowing that your teammates have your back one hundred percent. We came into this game with fire and energy.”
Against Occidental (10-5, 6-4), Chapman never found its rhythm offensively. The Tigers have figured out a defensive strategy to stymie the Panthers, holding them to four goals in each of the two games between the two conference foes.
However, unlike in the first matchup between the two teams, when Chapman fell behind 10-1 in the first half, the Panthers led at the half, 4-3. But just like the previous game, a 10-goal half did the Panthers in, getting shutout in the second half.
At the end of the regular season, Rodenberger holds the team lead in goals, 30, ahead of Martini, 24 and junior attack Kylee Moore, 20. Moore leads the team with 12 assists, with Rodenberger behind her with 11.