Bulldog Women's Lacrosse Makes Early Exit from NCAA Tournament
The University of Redlands women's lacrosse team competed in its first-ever NCAA Championship on Wednesday against 16th-ranked Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges in a familiar match-up. Despite the thrill of their inaugural post-season experience, the Bulldogs fell short to the Athenas on Pomona's soccer field by a score of 11-19.
The Maroon and Gray put up back-to-back goals to take an early lead as sophomore attack player Aimee Dewan (Alamo, CA) and junior attack player Kali Wilgus (Portland, OR) each found the back of the net. Freshman midfielder KK McCaslin (Portland, OR) and senior midfielder Christy Smith (St. Louis Park, MN) provided the assists on the respective scoring plays.
However, the Athenas answered back with three consecutive scores to surge ahead. A three-person attack that included senior midfielder Kaitlyn Desai (St. Louis, MO), sophomore attack player Rachel Darby (Yarmouth, ME), and senior attack player Sarah Dick (Beverly, MA) stepped up for CMS. Desai eventually posted a game-high six goals, while Dick provided four assists for her team.
Redlands continued to push with a pair of goals for a 4-3 advantage with less than nine minutes to go in the opening period. Smith and Dewan combined efforts for the Bulldogs while junior attack player Blair Callaghan (Tacoma, WA) notched the first of her team-leading three assists.
The Athenas' deficit was short-lived as they came firing back with a 5-1 run to finish the half. This was all they needed to eventually secure the eight-goal victory.
Nonetheless, Redlands rallied for a final push and uncorked a fury of goals during a span of less than two minutes late in the game. Freshman midfielder Jacky Craycraft (Lake Forest, CA), Wilgus and Smith each scored to pull the Bulldogs within six with 2:56 remaining.
Forced to double-team while using junior goalkeeper Ana Martinez (Pleasanton, CA) as a field player, Redlands gave up two additional goals to make it a 19-11 final decision.
Dewan finished with a team-high four goals. McCaslin stepped up with seven draw controls, while freshman defender Ally Leipzig (Newton, MA) nabbed four ground balls.
Martinez made 11 stops in a complete-game showing between the pipes.
For CMS, freshman midfielder Maddie Bannon (San Rafael, CA) led all players with 10 draw controls.
Senior goalkeeper Katie Campbell-Morrison captured the win in the cage after recording eight saves.
The Athenas (16-2) head to Salisbury, MD, to face Gettysburg College (PA) in Saturday's second-round game.
The Bulldogs finish out their historical season with an overall record of 13-5.
For a complete NCAA Championship bracket, please log onto www.ncaa.com.