Occidental Takes One-Goal Win at Pomona-Pitzer

CLAREMONT - It only takes a few seconds to score meaningful goals in lacrosse. Occidental College gave a perfect example of that principle with three goals in three minutes that were the difference in a 7-6 win at Pomona-Pitzer on Saturday.

With the game tied 3-3 at halftime, Beebe Finch-Sanders (Berkeley) scored within 22 seconds of the opening draw, then Sarah Kessler (Portland, Ore.) scored a free position goal 10 seconds later, and another goal just more than a minute after that, leading the Tigers to their second win in a row and their first ever 2-1 start to a season.

"I think we played some of our strongest lacrosse coming out in the second half," Occidental coach Michele Uhlfelder said. "Which is a good sign. That you can regroup, and make some adjustments from the first half."

Kessler's second goal of the period with 27 minutes, 33 seconds on the clock, gave Oxy a three-goal cushion it clung to until Logan Galansky and Martha Marich cut the lead to one on back-to-back goals with just more than 12 minutes left.

Then Tori Larson scored her only goal of the game to give the Tigers (2-1, 2-1 SCIAC) an insurance goal.

Galansky brought Pomona (1-3, 1-3 SCIAC) back within one with 7:16 left, but Oxy was able to fend of the Sagehens offensive attacks while controlling possession and eating some clock on the other end just long enough to escape with a win.

Marich, who was named the SCIAC Female Student-Athlete of the Week for an 11-goal performance against Whittier last Saturday, was held to just two against Oxy.

Kessler, Oxy's all-time goals leader (86), finished with two goals, giving her a team-best seven so far this season.

Oxy's Lauren Wemple (Needham, Mass.) assisted three Tigers goals, two in the first half to Rebecca Belding (Burlingame) and Finch-Sanders' score to open the second half.

Freshman goalie Adrienne Ruth (Springfield, Va.) picks up her second win of the season for the Tigers, improving to 2-0 this year. Ruth had five saves in all 60 minutes in the net.

Oxy, which had just one road win in its first two seasons as a collegiate program, starts the 2012 season 1-0 away from Eagle Rock.

The Tigers up a seven-game home stand, six of them non-conference games, against Adrian on Monday at Jack Kemp Stadium at 7:00 p.m.

Oxy will be at home for the entire month of March before beginning an important three-game road stretch against three SCIAC opponents - Whittier, Redlands and Claremont.

Just five goals have separated the last three Oxy/PP games, with Pomona taking both meetings last year by with 10-7 and 15-14 wins.

Saturday, a fresh and maturing Tigers team lasted just a little longer.

"We hung tough and played the clock out," Uhlfelder said. "Some experience and a little bit more depth kicked in for us at the end of the game."


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