Redlands Women’s Lacrosse Wins Program’s First SCIAC Championship
With a second-half surge of scoring, the University of Redlands women's lacrosse team captured sole possession of the 2012 Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) championship by defeating Occidental College in Sunday's title game, 10-7. With a near-perfect 7-1 record during dual matches, the Bulldogs lived up to the expectations of their top seeding with a solid performance against the Tigers en route to the program's inaugural conference crown during the third season of SCIAC women's lacrosse.
The teams traded punches during the opening period, with Occidental possessing the ball as much as possible to slow down the Maroon and Gray attack.
Much like Saturday's semi-final performance, the Maroon and Gray came out on fire in the second half, with senior midfielder Megan Prickett (Poway, CA) scoring just 19 seconds into the frame to break the five-all halftime tie.
Sophomore midfielder KK McCaslin (Portland, OR) added to the advantage with back-to-back scores over the next 12 minutes. During this span, the Bulldogs shut down any opportunities for Occidental by merely possessing the ball, similar to the Tigers' game plan in the opening stanza.
Although the Tigers scored twice to make it a one-goal game with less than six minutes to go, Redlands' senior goalkeeper Ana Martinez halted Occidental's rally with a big save against Haley Gandsey's tying shot.
Leading 9-7, the Maroon and Gray put the exclamation point on the day's accomplishment when junior attack player Aimee Dewan (Alamo, CA) completed her hat trick, with the final goal coming off of pass from senior attack player Ashley Finke (Austin, TX) with three seconds left.
Providing a well-rounded effort, sophomore midfielder Jacky Craycraft (Trabuco Canyon, CA) came up with five of Redlands' 11 ground balls, to go along with a goal, an assist, two draw controls and a caused turnover.
With only five SCIAC schools sponsoring women's lacrosse, the conference does not have an automatic berth to the NCAA Championships. Equipped with a 15-1 record and the 2012 conference title, Redlands holds high hopes for gaining an at-large bid but must wait for the selection announcement on Sunday, May 6.