Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
CLAREMONT, Calif. – The Whittier College women's lacrosse team earned their first Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Victory (SCIAC) of the season Wednesday as they held off a second half surge by the Athenas of Claremont-M-S to win 9-8 improving to 6-8, 1-8 SCIAC.
The win marks the first SCIAC conference victory for the Purple & Gold in two years and the first over Claremont-M-S in the program's history.
"A big factor in tonight's win was composure and ball possession," explained Head Coach Trish Bonagura. "The girls kept their head in the game even when CMS came back and were able to come out on top. As far as playoffs go…the wins and losses in conference are really interesting so it makes it that much more exciting that it's anyone's championship."
Whittier held a slight 7-4 advantage at the break and led 8-4 midway through the second but managed to hold off the late second half surge and three unanswered from CMS to post the one goal victory.
CMS' Izzy Laterzo scored what seemed to be the game tying goal with under a minute to play only to have it called back when the Poets challenge of her stick was successful.
Freshman Jess Hansen got things started for Whittier in the first minute of play with her 14th goal of the season. The scoring would go back and forth over the next six minutes and CMS would take their first lead of the game at the 22:43 mark 3-2. But the Purple & Gold would end the half outscoring CMS 5-1 started by a free position goal from Lily Baxter and sparked by back to back goals from Hansen.
Out of the half Whittier's Rebekah Delledera would tally the first goal of the stanza to move the differential to four goals but three straight from Claremont-M-S would pull the Athenas within one 8-7. Whittier stopped the bleeding with an unassisted goal from Shaina Denny that moved the score to 9-7. Anthea Weixel would add her first of the game a minute later to again pull CMS within one and then with :55 seconds to play, Laterzo had her game tying goal called back due to the Poets successful challenge of her stick allowing Whittier to come away with the upset road victory.
The Poets were led by R. Delledera and Hansen who each had three goals apiece, while Denny collected eight draw controls.
Whittier held the advantage on draw controls 14-7, was a perfect 5-5 on clear attempts, outshot CMS 22-18, but was only 2-10 on free positions.
The Poets return to the field this Saturday, April 19 for senior day against Occidental College beginning at 11:00am.