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April 28, 2012

Sagehens Give Top-Seeded Redlands A Scare, But Bulldogs Pull Away

Los Angeles, Calif. – Fifth-seeded Pomona-Pitzer gave top-seeded Redlands a battle for most of the game, but the Bulldogs scored the first five goals of the second half to pull away and capture a 10-7 win over the Sagehens on Saturday in the semifinals of the SCIAC Postseason Tournament at Occidental.

The loss ends Pomona-Pitzer's season with a 7-10 record, while Redlands improves to 14-1 and will move on to the championship game against the winner of the second semifinal between Claremont-Mudd-Scripps and host Occidental.

After surrendering the first goal of the game, Pomona-Pitzer responded with a 3-0 run, capped off by back-to-back goals from freshman Julie Necarsulmer (Kennett Square, Pa. - pictured) 46 seconds apart. A goal from senior Martha Marich (McLean, Va.) made the score 4-2, but Redlands was able to score the final goal of the half with just over three minutes left to make the score 4-3 at the break.

Redlands then pulled even on a goal from Megan Prickett, and took their first lead since 1-0 and a goal from Aimee Dewan with 24:27 left to play. The Bulldogs took advantage of a man advantage on a Pomona-Pitzer yellow card to pull ahead 6-4 on a free position goal from KK McCaslin with 19:14 left.  Prickett added a goal on a free position shot with 14:11 remaining, and Jacky Craycraft added another free position goal with 13:02 left to make the score 8-4.  

Necarsulmer finally ended the drought for the Sagehens with 11:09 to go off a feed from sophomore Jana London (Chevy Chase, Md.) to close within 8-5, but Pomona-Pitzer could come no closer, as Dewan scored in another man-up situation with 9:08 to play to end any comeback hopes.  

Necasulmer (three), London (two), Marich and freshman Clara Engle (Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.) accounted for the Pomona-Pitzer goals, while Dewan and Prickett had three for Redlands. Sophomore goalie Casey Leek (Bucharest, Romania) had 10 saves for the Sagehens in the loss.

Pomona-Pitzer returns its entire team, except for Marich, who scored a team-high 76 goals this season to raise her career total to 331 (despite missing half of her junior season with a knee injury).  Marich led the country in goals as a sophomore in 2010 with 113.