The University of Redlands women's lacrosse team hosted the Britons of Albion College (MI) on Thursday night in a non-conference showdown on Farquhar Field. Amidst a tale of two halves, the Bulldogs turned a one-goal halftime deficit into a 9-6 victory by elevating their level of play on both ends of the field.
The game began as a defensive battle, with each team scoring only once after 10 minutes of action. Senior midfielder Lacey Bjorndal (Sherwood, OR) converted a free-position shot to put Redlands on the board first.
The home team earned a slight 2-1 advantage by the 19:11-mark, when junior attacker Kelsey Ruhl (Seattle, WA) provided a sweet pass on junior attacker Adi Fellows' (Albuquerque, NM) first of two goals in the game.
While turnovers prohibited very little offensive rhythm for either team, the score remained tight, with the Maroon and Gary tying it up at three-all with 48 seconds to go in the period. Sophomore attacker Charly Walter (Bethesda, MD) moved around the back of the Albion goal to connect with Ruhl for an impressive score.
But the Britons managed a last-second, bang-bang play to head into the halftime break with a slight 4-3 lead.
Following the necessary halftime adjustments and motivation, the Bulldogs entered the second stanza with a noticeable desire to change the pace of play. Sophomore midfielder Sadie Pickering (Tacoma, WA) got things started with her first score of the game less than two minutes into the action. This initiated a three-goal Bulldog spurt, with first-year attacker Amanda Levandowski (San Diego, CA) and Bjorndal completing the team's hat trick over the course of five minutes.
Although Albion pulled one back at the 11:42-mark, Redlands orchestrated another three-goal outburst to secure the hard-fought victory.
Throughout the second half, the Bulldogs' defensive efforts became much more critical, as senior goalkeeper Quinn Egan (Greenwood Village, CO) did her part to keep the Britons off the board by making seven of her 11 stops. Redlands also gained quality support along the defensive third from senior Katie Koehler (Jackson, WY), sophomore Emma Brown Thunder (Falcon Heights, MN), and first-year Kaley Holland (Seattle, WA), among others.
Bjorndal finished the game with four goals, including three in the second half, and a team-high four caused turnovers. She was also a major player in the Bulldogs' dominating, draw-control performance. She snagged seven of the team's 14, while Pickering provided five.
The Bulldogs (3-4) welcome The College of Wooster (OH) to Farquhar Field on Tuesday, March 13, for a non-conference tilt at 7 p.m.