The University of Redlands women's lacrosse team hosted Whittier College for its home opener on Saturday morning at Farquhar Field. With senior midfielder Lacey Bjorndal (Sherwood, OR) leading the offense with six goals, the Bulldogs used a lucrative attack to run away with the 16-5 victory.
Redlands jumped on the board less than 90 seconds into the game when junior midfielder Hanna Morford (West Linn, OR) found the back of the net.
The Bulldogs continued to apply plenty of offensive pressure with three shots over the next four minutes, with first-year midfielder Isabella Leonardi (Napa, CA) breaking through on the final attempt. She converted a sweet pass from first-year attacker Paige Erlanger (Las Vegas, NV) to put the Bulldogs up, 2-0.
After Whittier pulled one back, the Maroon and Gray lit up the scoreboard for nine unanswered goals to earn a sizeable, 11-1 lead with 8:57 left in the first half. During this spurt, Redlands won every draw control, with Morford grabbing five of them. In addition, Leonardi and Bjorndal hauled in two apiece. Furthermore, the Bulldogs' offense was simply clicking on all cylinders, with four different players finding the back of the net and three others dishing out assists. Junior attacker Kesley Ruhl (Seattle, WA) shined with two goals and two assists, while Bjorndal supplied a hat trick, and Morford and first-year attacker Amanda Levandowski (San Diego, CA) each tossed in two netters. First-year attacker Breanna Gunderson (San Diego, CA) also distributed an assist.
Senior goalkeeper Quinn Egan (Greenwood Village, CO) completed the half with one save and two goals against in a fine showing.
Redlands continued to roll in the second half, as the home team out-scored the Poets by a 5-3 margin. Erlanger started things off right with a successful free-position shot before Bjorndal completed her six-goal performance with precision and skill. Sophomore attacker Charly Walter (Bethesda, MD) capped off the impressive offensive output with a goal off Morford's assist with 8:32 to go.
Defensively, the Bulldogs remained relentless and allowed only five shots in the second half, with first-year goalkeeper Annalyssa Sassara (West Linn, OR) making two saves in the cage during the final 30 minutes.
Egan and Sassara combined for a near-perfect effort on orchestrating the clears from the defensive third with a 13-for-14 effort.
Overall, Redlands dominated the draw-control battle with an 18-5 advantage.
In addition to six goals, Bjorndal provided five draw controls, four ground balls, and two caused turnovers. Morford led the game with seven draw controls while also supplying three goals, two assists, and two ground balls. Ruhl offered a well-balanced stat line with two goals, two assists, two ground balls, and three draw controls.
Redlands (1-1, 1-1 SCIAC) looks forward to hosting Chapman University on Wednesday, February 21, for ALS Awareness Night at 7 p.m. on Farquhar Field.