Occidental spoils Panthers' lacrosse opener
ORANGE, Calif. – The Chapman University women's lacrosse team opened the 2014 season with a tough loss to perennial SCIAC power Occidental College, falling 18-12 at Wilson Field on Saturday night. The Tigers used a last-minute scoring burst at the end of the first half to help avenge last season's conference semifinal loss to the Panthers. It marked Occidental's third straight regular season win over Chapman.
Occidental (1-0 overall, 1-0 SCIAC) led from start to finish, but Chapman kept it close early on as sophomore A Kylee Moore scored one of her two goals in the game with 9:02 remaining in the first half to cut the Tigers' lead to 6-5. However, Oxy scored four of the final five goals in the period including three in the final minute to take a 10-6 lead at the break.
Tigers' Tori Larson scored one of her game-high six goals with just nine seconds remaining and Mary Richardson snuck one past the Panthers just before the horn as Oxy took a commanding lead and all the momentum into the second half. Richardson finished with three goals in the game.
The Tigers opened the second half with more of the same, scoring twice in the first three minutes and Chapman (0-1 overall, 0-1 SCIAC) never recovered.
The closest the Panthers would get came on back-to-back goals by senior A Allie Kontny and freshman M Gretchen Rodenberger in a 34-second span to cut the Occidental lead to four at 14-10 with 8:38 remaining. Kontny and Rodenberger were two of five Panthers with a pair of goals each. The Tigers responded by rattling off four consecutive goals in 3:12 to push their lead to eight and seal the victory.
Chapman senior G Kara Podesta was under fire for much of the game as the Panthers were out-shot 39-22. Podesta finished with 10 saves. Occidental also won the battle for possession with 21 draw control wins versus just 10 for Chapman.
Chapman travels to Whittier on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in another early season SCIAC matchup and then will go on the road to Redlands to face the defending conference champs on Saturday, Feb. 15 at 7 p.m.
by Doug Aiken
Sports Information Director