Tigers Stun Redlands with 11-10 Upset

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (4/13/11) The last home game of the 2011 season was one for the record books for Occidental College. It was clear that the Tigers had a game plan and that plan, was to leave it all on the field.

The Tigers started off the match with two quick goals, before two minutes had expired off the clock. For the first time this season, the Tigers would not look back, refusing to allow University of Redlands from taking a lead at any point.

The first two goals were unassisted as Isabel Osgood-Roach and Laura Mohler were able to find lanes through the Bulldogs defense and successfully get the ball into the back of the net. The energy on Patterson field, as well as in the stands, was incomparable and it was only about to get more exciting.

The Bulldogs responded with a goal of their own at the 28 minute mark, only to be immediately answered by the Tigers Tori Larson. Larson would score the next two goals for the Tigers as well, achieving her seventh hat trick on the season, midway through the first half.

Redlands would remain within striking distance, closing in with their fourth goal at the 15 minute mark in the first half. Neither team would find the back of the net for the next seven minutes of the match, until Sarah Kessler would end the dry spell, providing the Tigers with a two-point cushion going into the half. But, little did the fans know, Kessler and the Tigers were just warming up.

The second half began with a slow start, with each team swapping possessions. It was not until approximately five minutes into the half that a Redlands turn over would lead to a Haley Gandsey ground ball followed by a goal by Rebecca Belding off of a great assist by Lauren Wemple.

The Tigers energy and determination never seemed to be halted by the Bulldogs. After a Bulldog answer, the Tigers sophomore Kessler went on a 3-0 run giving them their largest lead of the game at 10-5. The tenth point coming off of a free position attempt with 19 minutes left on the clock

Playing on the edge of their heels, in a position they are not too familiar with, Redlands would fight back into the game behind freshman Jacky Craycraft and Junior Megan Prickett. With a couple quick goals off draw controls, the Tigers saw their lead diminish with little time coming off the clock.

After getting within one, the Bulldogs were in desperate need of possession bringing their goal keeper out of the crease and playing her as a defender in the field. By doing this they were able to double team the Occidental player with the ball. This situation provided the Tigers with an open net opportunity, if they could find a way to get past the double team. The Tigers were able to do just that as Larson found her way past the double team, unfortunately shooting wide right. The ball was recovered by the Bulldogs goal keeper who would initiate the Bulldogs clear attempt that would end with Redlands scoring their fifth unanswered goal to make it 10-10 with 4:50 left in the game

With the game tied, it was apparent the next draw control was a must have for either team to win. The Tigers freshman midfielder Belding would grab her second draw control of the night, giving the Tigers the upper hand in what was about to be the most exciting five minutes of the 2011 season, thus far.

Occidental maintained offensive possession as Kessler found herself with a free position attempt with two minutes remaining in the game. Redlands goal keeper would make her sixth save of the game, stopping Kessler from getting what would have been her fifth goal. Sophomore Wemple would secure her only groundball of the game, at quite possibly the most crucial time, providing the Tigers with another chance to take the win.

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