Larson Scores in OT to Lift Oxy Past Adrian

LOS ANGELES - Tori Larson (Denver) scored the only overtime goal a little more than 1 minute into the first 3-minute segment, then Charlotte Bromley (Watertown, Conn.) controlled the opening draw to start the second 3-minutes, and Occidental played keep-a-way for the remainder of the game to hold off Adrian 7-6 in OT at Jack Kemp Stadium on Monday.

Larson, who had a game-high three goals and Oxy's last two scores on the evening, dodged from behind the cage, gave a shoulder fake, turned the corner and buried a shot that beat Adrian goalkeeper Laura Finfrock and broke the 6-6 tie.

After the teams changed sides, Bromley secured the draw and the Tigers (3-1) withstood frantic pressure from the Bulldogs (1-1) without coughing up possession for the full 3 minutes.

Oxy, in its third year as a collegiate program, wins three games in a row for the first time in the women's lacrosse program's brief history.

The three victories span just five days, beginning with the Tigers' win over Claremont-Mudd-Scripps on Feb. 22.

"Winning three games in five days is huge. Their maturity, their mental toughness and their ability to prepare," said Occidental coach Michele Uhlfelder, applauding her team's focus. "Preparing to play three games in five days is not an easy scenario."

Last season, the Tigers won back-to-back games twice, but never a third. And for a brief moment in the second half on Monday, they were in jeopardy of not getting over that hump again.

Adrian's Rachel Johnston scored to give the Bulldogs a 5-4 lead with 17:26 left in the second half. Less than 1 minute later though, Haley Gandsey (Oakland) scored the second of her two goals to tie the game back at five.

With 11:32 on the clock, Larson scored to give Oxy a 6-5 lead. Adrian's Meghan Gerrie evened the score with 4:33 left in regulation.

Junior Sarah Kessler (Portland, Ore.), Oxy's all-time leading goal scorer, converted a pair of free position shots in the first half, bringing her career total to 88.

Johnston and Newblom led the Bulldogs with two goals each.

Adrienne Ruth, Oxy's freshman goalkeeper, recorded 10 saves and picked up four ground balls, improving her undefeated collegiate record to 3-0.

Rebecca Belding led the game with six draw controls for the Tigers.

The season is young, but the Tigers have already crossed off a few team milestones. Their win over CMS last Wednesday was the program's first ever against the Athenas, starting the season with a winning record - overall and SCIAC - was foreign territory, and now, by holding off Adrian, their first bona fide winning streak.

Having to scrap for an overtime win over Adrian says a lot about the program's evolution, but also a lot about its current team.

"Good teams can put points on the board early, play through and hold a lead," Uhlfelder said, adding that a string of impressive defensive performances by the Tigers back line has been a major factor. "Our defense is working very well as a unit."

The Tigers return to SCIAC play this Saturday, hosting Whittier at Jack Kemp Stadium at 6:00 p.m.

"We go one day, one game at a time," said Uhlfelder, adding that the Tigers will take a day off tomorrow before switching their focus to the Poets. "We'll work on our offensive production, study Whittier and get them prepared for Saturday."

2012-02-28



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