The University of Redlands women's lacrosse team opened the 2018 campaign on the road by traveling to Occidental College for Wednesday's Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) match in Eagle Rock. After a tough start, the Bulldogs put together an improved second half but came up short in a 12-19 decision.
Occidental stormed out to a 4-0 lead, which forced Redlands to play catch-up after the first 10 minutes of action. Sophomore midfielder/attack player Sadie Pickering (Tacoma, WA) put the Bulldogs on the board with the first of her three goals for the night by converting a free-position shot with 19:46 left on the first-half clock.
By the 9:11-mark, the Maroon and Gray managed to cut it to two with back-to-back scores off the sticks of Pickering and first-year attack player Breanna Gunderson (San Diego, CA). Between these goals, Redlands stepped up its defense with sophomore defender Chelsea Sahami (Millbrae, CA) causing two Oxy turnovers.
However, a late three-goal spurt by the Tigers stretched Redlands' deficit to five at 3-8.
Senior midfielder Lacey Bjorndal (Sherwood, OR) did her part to change the momentum late in the first half when she fired off a free-position goal with 2:31 remaining. She and senior midfielder Jacquelyn Archey (Sammamish, WA) provided stellar pressure on the Tigers, forcing them into three turnovers as well.
The Bulldogs made it a three-score game within the first two minutes of the second half, with junior midfielder Hanna Morford (West Linn, OR) finding the back of the net.
However, another Oxy run extended the home team's lead to nine with 11:57 to go in the game.
Despite being in the penalty with a yellow card, Redlands continued to fight in the final 10 minutes, as Morford took a sweet pass from Gunderson for the goal, before Gunderson scored her second netter of the night less than a minute later.
Despite a late-game surge of three-consecutive goals, the Bulldogs remained in a hole and ultimately fell to the Tigers by a score of 12-19. Pickering, first-year midfielder Jessica Aguigui (Fallbrook, CA), and Morford each found of the back of the net in the final five minutes.
Gunderson impressed in her Bulldog debut with two goals, one assist, and one caused turnover. Morford unleashed four goals and hauled in five draw controls, while Pickering provided three goals, one assist and five draw controls. Bjorndal also snagged five draw controls to go along with one goal, one assist, and three caused turnovers.
Redlands (0-1, 0-1 SCIAC) hosts Whittier College on Saturday, February 17, at 11 a.m. on Farquhar Field.