April 26, 2012

London Calling: Offensive Explosion Leads Sagehens Into SCIAC Semifinals

Whittier, Calif. – Sophomore Jana London (Chevy Chase, Md.) scored a career high nine goals, tying Whittier all by herself, and added two assists to lead the Pomona-Pitzer Women's Lacrosse team to a 16-9 win in the first round of the SCIAC Postseason Tournament on Wednesday evening.

With the win, Pomona-Pitzer improves to 7-9 and will advance to face top-seeded Redlands on Saturday in the semifinals at Occidental at 11:30 a.m. Whittier, which was coming off handing Redlands its first loss of the season in its regular season finale, ends its season at 6-11.

London helped the Sagehens get off to a quick start by scoring the first two goals of the game and tallying three goals and an assist to stake Pomona-Pitzer to a 4-1 lead. Sophomore goalie Casey Leek (Bucharest, Romania) then saved two free position shots 30 seconds apart, and freshman Julie Necarsulmer (Kennett Square, Pa.) converted a free position shot for the Sagehens on the other end to push the lead to 5-1 with 8:05 left in the first half.

London added her fourth goal of the half off a turnover on a failed clear with 1:16 left in the half to make the score 7-2, but Whittier was able to return the favor with a goal from Carolyn Mukai off a failed clear with nine seconds left in the half to cut the lead to 7-3 at intermission.  

Whittier struck for two quick goals at the start of the second half to cut the score to 7-5, and had another waived off on a free position shot due to a violation. Senior Martha Marich (McLean, Va.) then ended the drought with a goal and London followed with another to make it 9-5.

After Mukai scored with 18:16 to go to close the Poets within 9-6, the two stars of the game for Pomona-Pitzer took over, as London scored off an assist from Marich, then Marich scored two in a row, and London converted on a free-position shot with 9:40 left to make the score 13-6 and effectively seal the win for the Sagehens.

Marich finished with five goals and an assist in support of London's eight-goal barrage. Sophomore defender Rachel Kessler (Portland, Ore.) also came forward late in the game with the win in hand and scored her first goal of the season. Leek finished with seven saves for the Sagehens in the win.

Pomona-Pitzer lost both games with Redlands (13-1, 7-1 SCIAC) during the regular season, falling 18-9 in February on the road and 18-10 at home on April 4. The second meeting, though, was tied at the half 7-7 before the Bulldogs were able to take control after halftime.