2010 Summary: Bulldog Women’s Lacrosse Competes for First-Ever SCIAC Crown
Competing in only its 12th year as a varsity sport, the 2010 University of Redlands women's lacrosse team embarked upon another first experience in the program's short history: vying for the inaugural Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) championship. In order to prepare for this exciting endeavor, the Bulldogs faced off against talented opponents from around the country and captured the second-most wins in program history with an 11-8 overall record. The Maroon and Gray fought for the coveted conference crown through the last game but fell in the SCIAC Tournament final to finish second in the standings with a 6-4 record.
Redlands kicked off the 2010 campaign with a resounding 18-3 win over Occidental College in the first-ever SCIAC showdown on Farquhar Field. This inspired another high-scoring victory during a non-conference tilt against the University of Dallas in Irving, Texas, on Feb. 27. The Bulldogs rattled off 10 unanswered goals on their way to a 23-3 victory, which resulted in a new program record for total goals in game. Amidst the offensive explosion, Redlands also racked up a school-record 12 assists, with sophomore attack player Blair Callaghan (Tacoma, WA) providing three of her 11 for the season.
After stumbling to regional foe Colorado College, the Bulldogs rebounded with a 20-5 victory over visiting Carthage College (WI) in their first of nine contests during the month of March. Two Redlands alumnae—Lauren Hume '05 and Emily Goetz '04—now coach the Lady Reds, but on this particular Friday it was all about the current Bulldogs in their solid performance on Farquhar Field. After a 1-1 tie just five minutes into the first half, the Maroon and Gray secured a 5-1 lead and never looked back. During the final 37:57 of the game, Redlands exploded for 13 goals while holding Carthage scoreless. Senior midfielder Haley Kern (Portland, OR) and junior midfielder Christy Smith (St. Louis Park, MN) posted five goals each to lead the Redlands offense. In addition, freshman defender Jennifer Bryant (Kennebunkport, ME) recorded a season-high eight ground balls to go along with four draw controls.
Following a difficult loss to in-region opponent Sewanee (TN), the women's lacrosse team posted back-to-back wins over non-conference foes, Frostburg State University (MD) and Fontbonne University (MO), to improve to 5-2 on the season.
Against Frostburg State, the Bulldogs garnered a 5-2 halftime advantage and then unleashed six unanswered goals in the second period to eventually secure the 13-4 victory. The Maroon and Gray showed off its balanced attack with nine players scoring at least one goal in the contest.
Redlands garnered an early lead that held up through the final ticks of the clock, resulting in a solid 10-4 win over Fontbonne. Kern opened the scoring with 25:44 remaining in the first half. She then provided the assists on the next two goals, finding freshman attack player Aimee Dewan (Alamo, CA) at 23:18 and then connecting with sophomore attack player Ashley Finke (Austin, TX) just over two minutes later. On defense, Bryant forced a season-high five opponent turnovers.
The Maroon and Gray faltered to Goucher College (PA) in a heartbreaking 12-15 loss in which the team fought back from an eight-goal deficit but simply ran out of time.
The Bulldogs then faced off against regional rival University of Puget Sound (WA), a program that is led by former Redlands standout Liana Freeman Halstead '05. During the first 12 minutes, Redlands controlled the pace of play as Dewan posted four goals for the Maroon and Gray. In addition, Finke and Smith kept the momentum rolling by scoring two goals apiece to result in an 8-0 advantage with 12:17 remaining in the first half. However, the Loggers clawed their way back into the game, forcing the Bulldogs to stave off a late push by their opponents. UPS cut the lead to four with less than 10 minutes to go, but Redlands exploded for three consecutive goals to eventually capture the 16-10 win.
On March 24, the Bulldogs returned to SCIAC action by taking on perennial power Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges. Unfortunately, Redlands suffered a difficult loss to the Athenas, but this disappointment instigated a three-game win streak for the Maroon and Gray, helping them stay in the hunt for the inaugural conference title. First, the Bulldogs celebrated their six seniors with an exciting 20-14 conference decision over the visiting Sagehens of Pomona-Pitzer Colleges and then rattled off victories against Whittier College and Occidental.
During Senior Day against the Sagehens, Redlands broke a 5-5 tie with a 4-1 scoring run to close out the first period. With 12 different goal-scorers and four players providing assists, the Bulldogs continued to impress with their well-balanced and diverse attack. The seniors combined for seven goals and three assists with senior attack player Diana Frey (Silver Spring, MD) scoring three goals and senior attack player Mary Shepherd (Dallas, TX) offering three assists.
However, the team dropped two difficult conference losses in its subsequent matches, falling to CMS and succumbing to Pomona-Pitzer in a one-goal defeat.
The Bulldogs halted this skid with a solid 19-11 victory over Whittier in the final game of round-robin play before the inaugural SCIAC Tournament. Down by a score of 1-2 nearly 10 minutes into the contest, the Maroon and Gray lit up the scoreboard with a subsequent 9-0 run to finish out the opening period. During this span, Kern posted a hat trick in less than two minutes, while Finke added two of her three goals on the day. Smith also supplied five goals on just seven shots while also providing one assist. Sophomore midfielder Megan Prickett (Poway, CA) scored the eventual game-winner with 26:10 remaining in the second half. In addition, sophomore goalkeeper Ana Martinez (Pleasanton, CA) quieted the Poet offense with her season-high 14 saves between the pipes.
Just six days later, Redlands faced off with Whittier in the semifinal of the conference tournament and recorded its third win over the Poets during the 2010 season. The Bulldogs garnered a 6-1 lead midway through the first period as Smith notched four of her six goals and freshman midfielder Katie Colasurdo (Eugene, OR) scored twice.
This victory led to a third showdown with CMS, as the teams vied for the first-ever SCIAC crown in the tournament championship. Despite the hard-fought and competitive battle, Redlands fell short by a score of 11-16. Kern provided five goals for the second time this season, authoring nearly half of the team's scores in this game.
During the first-ever conference season, the Bulldogs gained solid representation on the All-SCIAC teams with seven awards. Smith and Bryant landed on the First Team, while Kern, Prickett, Dewan, Colasurdo and Martinez garnered Second-Team honors.
As a team, Redlands posted the most goals in a season in school history with 264, but, more impressively, the Bulldogs also broke the school record for scoring average at 13.89, improving upon 2008's standard of 13.13.
Smith and Bryant landed on the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) All-West Region teams with Smith earning her third First-Team nod in three years. She scored a team-leading 60 goals and offered 12 assists for a total of 72 points, which also ranked first among the Maroon and Gray. She provided two game-winning goals and converted 14 free-position shots into scores. In addition, Smith posted a team-high 51 draw controls to go along with 39 ground balls and 21 caused turnovers.
Serving as a potent and poised defender, Bryant gained Second-Team honors as a rookie. Competing in 18 games this season, she led the Bulldogs with 29 caused turnovers while tying teammate Colasurdo for the most number of ground balls at 43. She also tallied 20 draw controls and broke away for three shots.
With one year remaining in her career, Smith remains atop various individual single-season and career marks, including but not limited to points (career, 206), goals (career, 176), draw controls (career, 169).
Although the team graduates a decorated and talented crew of seniors in Shepherd, Kern, defender Sean Hansen (Portland, OR), attack player Anna Moriarity (Oak Park, IL), defender Erin Benjamin (San Diego, CA), and Frey, the Bulldogs possess an outstanding returning crew that promises to build upon the momentum and success of the 2010 season. Under the leadership and guidance of Head Coach Suzette Soboti, who has been instrumental in the program's development since its inception, the Redlands women's lacrosse team boasts great motivation to succeed both locally at the SCIAC level and beyond.