The University of Redlands women's lacrosse team faced the Sagehens of Pomona-Pitzer Colleges in the season opener that also served as the first Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) match of the season. Despite jumping on the board first, the Bulldogs came up short in a 3-16 decision.
After forcing a Sagehen turnover off the opening draw, senior midfielder Hanna Morford (West Linn, OR) also found the back of the net for the Bulldogs' early 1-0 lead. Her score came off a sweet back-door pass from senior attacker Kelsey Ruhl (Seattle, WA) less than 75 seconds into the game.
Following consecutive saves from first-year goalkeeper Annie Van Norstrand (Littleton, CO), the Bulldogs struggled to maintain possession, which allowed the Sagehens to break through with seven straight goals to finish the first half. Redlands remained in the fight with eight shots in the final 14 minutes of the frame but those attempts flew off the mark or into the hands of the Pomona-Pitzer goalkeeper.
With the Bulldogs facing a significant deficit, Morford put up another goal for the Maroon and Gray with 19:40 remaining in the game when she made the most of her free-position attempt. Nine minutes later she converted another score but it was not enough for the Bulldogs to change the direction of the game.
First-year defender Kaitlyn Lesko (Dacula, GA) caused three Sagehen turnovers in a solid effort. In addition, she and Morford picked up four ground balls apiece.
Redlands (0-1, 0-1 SCIAC) heads to 23rd-ranked Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges on Saturday, February 23, for an 11 a.m. SCIAC showdown against the Athenas.