The University of Redlands women's lacrosse team took on Occidental College in an important Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) showdown on Wednesday night. On the heels of sophomore midfielder Hanna Morford's (West Linn, OR) seven-goal showing, the Bulldogs celebrated Senior Night with a hard-fought and physical 15-11 win over the Tigers on Farquhar Field.
After recognizing the seniors in a short pregame ceremony, the Maroon and Gray hauled in the first draw control on the stick of junior midfielder Lacey Bjorndal (Sherwood, OR). Redlands' first goal came less than three minutes later when Morford dished the ball to senior attack player Dulce Moll (Mercer Island, WA), who fired it into the back of the net for the early advantage.
The teams traded goals over the next 10 minutes, resulting in a four-all tie. After the Morford-Moll combination repeated itself at the 24:40-mark, Morford uncorked the Bulldogs' next two netters, with the first coming off of an assist by freshman attack player Charly Walter (Bethesda, MD).
Morford stayed hot by converting two more goals, as Moll and freshman attack player Sadie Pickering (Tacoma, WA) each found her in traffic en route to the home team's 6-4 lead with 10:01 remaining in the first half.
Bjorndal and Morford closed out the frame with a pair of successful free-position shots to extend the Bulldogs' lead to 8-5 at the midway point of the game. In the final 90 seconds of the half, junior goalkeeper Quinn Egan (Greenwood Village, CO) cut off a Tiger pass to regain possession for the Bulldogs in a stellar defensive effort.
Early in the second stanza, senior midfielder Breanne Rideout (San Diego, CA) reentered the game to immediately make an impact by dishing out the assist for sophomore attack player Adi Fellows' (Albuquerque, NM) sweet goal that gave Redlands a sizeable lead at 9-5.
However, the Tigers worked their way back into the game and eventually cut it to one at 9-10 with 16:08 left in the second half.
After snagging the subsequent draw control, Bjorndal quickly drew the foul for the free-position shot and took advantage of the opportunity to make it 11-9 for the Bulldogs.
From here, Redlands fired off three-straight goals to create its largest lead of the night at 14-9 with 5:21 left on the clock. The Morford-Moll combination remained effective for the Maroon and Gray, while Pickering added another free-position goal. In addition, Egan stepped up her game with some monster saves in the final minutes, leading to an impressive 12-save effort in the win.
Although Occidental eventually rattled off back-to-back scores, the senior tandem of Moll and Rideout responded with the home team's final goal of the game.
In the waning minutes, Egan denied any chance of an Oxy comeback by making additional saves and causing Tiger turnovers in a tenacious performance.
Beyond her seven goals, Morford tallied two assists, two draw controls, and one ground ball. Moll and Bjorndal added six goals collectively, as Bjorndal also corralled six draw controls.
Redlands (9-6, 4-5 SCIAC) heads to Pomona-Pitzer Colleges on Tuesday, April 25, for the final conference game of the regular season.