Led offensively by junior midfielder KK McCaslin (Portland, OR), the 19th-ranked University of Redlands women's lacrosse team began the 2013 campaign on Saturday evening with an emphatic 17-7 victory over the Poets of Whittier College. McCaslin paced the Bulldog attack by coming off the bench to register six goals and one assist.
The Bulldogs' only Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) loss last year came in the final regular-season contest against the Poets, so Redlands made sure to control this game as soon as it started.
After Whittier scored the opening goal of the game, the Maroon and Gray rattled off eight unanswered scores to take an 8-1 lead less than midway through the first half. Junior midfielder Jacky Craycraft (Trabuco Canyon, CA) highlighted the early scoring for the Bulldogs, tallying a hat-trick within the first nine minutes. Rookie midfielder Stephanie Garrett (San Diego, CA) also provided some offensive firepower, recording her first two goals in a Bulldog uniform.
After the Poets pulled one back, Garrett completed her trio of scores by finding the back of the net at the 7:08-mark in the first stanza. McCaslin then scored her second and third goals late in the first half, helping the U of R to head into the halftime intermission with a comfortable 12-3 advantage.
Whittier tallied two quick scores to begin the second half, cutting the Bulldog lead to just seven.
Solid defense held both squads scoreless over the next 12 minutes, but Redlands sophomore attacker Elizabeth Keilty (Yorba Linda, CA) initiated the Maroon and Gray's second-half offense when she converted a free-position shot.
McCaslin then put the game out of reach, notching three goals in three minutes to make it a 16-5 lead for the Bulldogs.
Finishing the night strong, freshman attacker Shannon Sunnergren (Livermore, CA) scored the final netter for Redlands with just four seconds left on the clock. During her first game as a Bulldog, Sunnergren recorded two scores on just two shots.
Also finding her way onto the score sheet, sophomore midfielder Emily Dalrymple (Snohomish, WA) provided an efficient performance, tallying one goal on just one shot. Additionally, senior midfielder Crystal Painter (Lake George, NY) acted as the primary distributor for Redlands, notching a team-high four assists to go along with eight draw-controls.
Beyond her three scores, Craycraft registered four ground balls and four draw-controls for the Maroon and Gray
The U of R (1-0) competes in its first home contest of the campaign on Wednesday, February 13, when it hosts Pomona-Pitzer Colleges at Farquhar Field at 7 p.m.