The University of Redlands women's lacrosse team hosted the Illinois Wesleyan University Titans during Friday's ALS Awareness Night at Farquhar Field. While trailing for only two minutes of the game, the Bulldogs broke a nine-all tie with 7:52 remaining to secure a hard-fought 10-9 win. In addition, sophomore midfielder Hanna Morford (West Linn, OR) scored in her 26th-consecutive game to reset the Redlands record.
Redlands came out firing to jump on the board less than 30 seconds into the contest. After junior midfielder Lacey Bjorndal (Sherwood, OR) snagged the opening draw control, freshman midfielder Sadie Pickering (Tacoma, WA) drove the ball right into the back of the net for the Bulldogs' early 1-0 lead.
Although the Titans answered with a goal at the 22:05-mark of the first half, Pickering kept her foot on the offensive gas pedal and successfully converted back-to-back free-position shots for the home team's 3-1 lead with 18:52 to go.
On the ensuing possession that began with a draw control by senior midfielder Breanne Rideout (San Diego, CA), Morford took advantage of opportunity with a free-position goal to score in her 26th-consecutive game, dating back to February 20, 2016.
The teams closed out the first half by trading two scores each for the Bulldogs' 6-3 lead. Pickering continued to roll offensively for Redlands with one unassisted goal and one free-position score in this stretch.
However, by the 23:13-mark of the second stanza, Illinois Wesleyan had closed the gap to one at 6-7. Thirteen minutes later, the Titans grabbed their first lead of the night at 9-8, forcing Head Coach Suzette Soboti to take a timeout with the Bulldogs.
Her plan was put into place on the ensuing possession, as Morford hauled in the next draw control before firing a shot past the Titan goalkeeper to even the count at nine apiece with 8:26 left on the clock.
Although Illinois Wesleyan corralled the subsequent draw control, Pickering's stifling defense forced the Titans to cough up the ball, which led to a free-position opportunity. Pickering converted this one for her sixth goal of the game and her 24th of the season.
Now leading by a score of 10-9, Redlands played possession-style lacrosse to minimize the Titans' chances of tying the game. In addition, freshman defender Chelsea Sahami (Millbrae, CA) and junior defender Jacquelyn Archey (Sammamish, WA) provided key defensive plays for the Bulldogs, while junior goalkeeper Quinn Egan (Greenwood Village, CO) offered a big presence between the pipes throughout the game but especially in the waning minutes.
With poise and precision, Redlands stayed in front for the 10-9 win over the Titans.
Pickering registered a season-best six goals on 10 shots, while Morford added three scores.
Redlands won the draw-control battle with a 14-7 margin, as Morford and Bjorndal combined for eight of them.
Egan finished the complete game with eight saves and four ground balls.
Redlands (6-2, 2-1 SCIAC) enjoys a short break from competition before returning to Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) action on Wed., March 29, when it travels to Occidental College for a 7 p.m. match against the Tigers.