The University of Redlands women's lacrosse team faced a quick turnaround by hosting the George Fox University (OR) Bruins less than 24 hours after competing on the road on Wednesday night. In Thursday's non-conference game, the Bulldogs battled through a tight, back-and-forth showdown that featured four ties and resulted in an exciting 12-11 victory on Farquhar Field.
After George Fox jumped out to a 3-1 lead less than 10 minutes into the first half, Head Coach Suzette Soboti called a timeout to reestablish the Bulldogs' game plan. Redlands immediately responded as sophomore midfielder Hanna Morford (West Linn, OR) hauled in the subsequent draw control. Unfortunately, the Bruins managed to regain possession and ultimately scored for the early 4-1 advantage.
Nonetheless, Redlands refused to back down and created excellent offensive rhythm during a three-minute span late in the first half, beginning with Morford's caused turnover and ground ball that led to her second goal of the game with 12:30 to go. Another caused turnover by Morford allowed her to connect with freshman midfielder Sadie Pickering (Tacoma, WA) to make it a one-goal game at 3-4.
Pickering kept up the offensive pressure by snagging the subsequent draw control. After the Bulldogs worked the ball around the arc, junior midfielder Lacey Bjorndal (Sherwood, OR) fed her a beautiful pass into the center lane for the equalizer goal at the 9:30-mark.
However, George Fox answered with two scores to regain the lead before Redlands upped the ante once again to rally back. Bjorndal and Morford created the first scoring opportunity, while senior attack player Dulce Moll (Mercer Island, WA) added her first netter of the day to make it 6-all going into the halftime break.
The second stanza saw additional hard-fought, gritty play from both teams. After Bjorndal picked up a loose ball, she went straight to the Bruins' net for Redlands' first lead of the day at 7-6. The momentum stayed with the Maroon and Gray, as Pickering collected the ensuing draw control, which led to a Moll-Morford scoring combination to extend the home team's advantage to two at the 28:27-mark.
But GFU clawed its way back into the contest with back-to-back scores for another knotted tally at eight apiece and then again at nine.
With 12:19 remaining in the second half, Redlands responded with a two-goal spurt to keep the visitors at bay. Pickering and Moll provided the necessary firepower for the Bulldogs' 11-9 lead.
After freshman defender Chelsea Sahami (Millbrae, CA) forced the Bruins to cough up possession, freshman defender Paige Koenig (Centennial, CO) picked up the ground ball for the Maroon and Gray. Morford went on to score the eventual game-winner with 6:37 remaining.
From here, the Bulldogs battened down the hatches to minimize the Bruins' chances of a comeback, with Morford and junior defender Denise Guerrero (Glendale, CA) forcing opponent turnovers, while junior goalkeeper Quinn Egan (Greenwood Village, CO) added a huge stop against a GFU free-position shot.
Although the Bruins mustered one late goal, Pickering snagged the final draw control, which allowed the Bulldogs to hold onto the ball in the final minutes and secure the exciting win.
Pickering scored four goals on four shots and snagged seven draw controls. Moll and Morford combined for seven goals. Egan finished the complete-game effort with five saves and 12 successful clears.
Redlands (7-3) faces Chapman University in a Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) contest on Saturday, April 1, at Farquhar Field. First draw is slated for 7 p.m.