In a tale of two halves, the University of Redlands women's lacrosse team saw an early lead slip away against the Chapman University Panthers in Saturday night's Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) showdown in Orange. After leading by a score of 4-3 at the midway point of the game, the Bulldogs struggled to match the home team's offensive showing in the second half and ultimately fell by a score of 6-11.
Redlands came out firing on all cylinders and put up three-straight goals less than three minutes into the action. After junior midfielder Lacey Bjorndal (Sherwood, OR) hauled in the opening draw, sophomore midfielder Hanna Morford (West Linn, OR) forced the Chapman goalkeeper to make an immediate save before snagging the loose ball for a second-chance opportunity. The Bulldogs quickly worked the ball around to allow senior attack player Dulce Moll (Mercer Island, W) to find an open Morford, who uncorked a shot into the back of the net for the Maroon and Gray's 1-0 advantage.
Although Chapman collected the ensuing draw control, Redlands freshman midfielder Sadie Pickering (Tacoma, WA) forced the Panthers to lose possession. Following a successful clear attempt, the Bulldogs extended their lead to two goals off of another netter by Morford.
Less than 30 seconds later, Pickering's draw control led to a goal by sophomore attack player Adi Fellows (Albuquerque, NM) off of an assist by Morford, which in turn inspired an early Chapman timeout.
With both teams settling into a stingy defensive rhythm, the game remained at 3-0 for the next nine minutes. The Panthers finally scored with back-to-back goals to make it a 2-3 game with 17:33 remaining in the opening frame.
Morford stayed hot for the Bulldogs, as she forced a Chapman turnover and collected the resulting ground ball to initiate a quality offensive chance for her team. She dished out the assist and connected with Bjorndal to put Redlands up by a score of 4-2.
Although the Panthers scored once more, the Maroon and Gray held a slight 4-3 advantage at the halftime break. Chapman certainly had its chances with 16 first-half shots but junior goalkeeper Quinn Egan (Greenwood Village, CO) and the Bulldog defensive unit limited the opponents to only a few viable looks.
Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, the second half leaned in favor of the Panthers, who scored five unanswered goals to take an 8-4 lead at the 8:02-mark of the stanza.
Bjorndal ended the Maroon and Gray's scoring drought with an unassisted goal about 30 seconds later. She went on to register Redlands' only other netter of the second half, as Chapman was more proficient in its scoring efforts.
Despite 11 saves from Egan, the Bulldogs lost this one by a score of 6-11.
Redlands (8-6, 3-5 SCIAC) returns home for Senior Night on Wednesday, April 19, when it hosts Occidental College in a 7 p.m. conference match on Farquhar Field.