Despite trailing by only one at halftime, the University of Redlands women's lacrosse team fell short of the upset of the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) leader from Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges in a 9-18 decision during Wednesday's showdown on Farquhar Field.
The teams battled early and scored once apiece through the first four-and-a-half minutes, as senior midfielder Hanna Morford (West Linn, OR) found the back of the net for the Bulldogs.
After CMS fired off back-to-back scores less than four minutes later, Redlands saw first-year attacker Maddie Bush (Ladera Ranch, CA) force the Athenas into a turnover before finding Morford to make it 2-4. The teams went on to trade goals in consecutive possessions, with Morford hauling in the draw and converting the goal for the Maroon and Gray.
The Athenas maintained their distance with another two-goal spurt, which inspired Morford to answer for the Bulldogs with back-to-back scores of her own. In addition, senior attacker Kelsey Ruhl (Seattle, WA) found senior attacker Adi Fellows (Albuquerque, NM) for the sweet combination to cut the deficit to one at 6-7 with 6:53 left on the clock.
The defensive prowess of first-year goalkeeper Annie Van Norstrand (Littleton, CO) kept CMS off the board in the final few minutes of the half, as first-year defender Kaitlyn Lesko (Dacula, GA), junior defender Emma Brown Thunder (Falcon Heights, MN), and sophomore defender Kaley Holland (Seattle, WA) also put defensive pressure on the Athenas.
Nonetheless, CMS pulled away in the second half by scoring the first five goals of the stanza.
Although junior midfielder Sadie Pickering (Tacoma, WA) tallied a goal at the 16:10-mark, the Bulldogs struggled to overcome the deficit.
Morford accounted for seven of the Bulldogs' goals on 14 total shots. She also nabbed five draw controls, secured five ground balls, and forced three opponent turnovers. First-year attacker Joren Fettig (Bend, OR) hauled in six draw controls. Van Norstrand made 14 stops, including a diving body-block, and grabbed six ground balls.
Redlands (7-6, 1-6 SCIAC) faces Occidental College during ALS Awareness Night on Saturday, April 13, at 7 p.m. on Farquhar Field.