TIGERS BEAT CMS, NOTCH FIRST WIN OVER A RANKED TEAMBy Michael Wells Sports Information Director
LOS ANGELES — Sarah Kessler (Portland, Ore.) and Isabel Osgood-Roach (Portland, Ore.) scored four goals each, leading the Occidental College women's lacrosse team to maybe its biggest win in the program's brief history.
Kessler and Osgood-Roach combined for five unanswered goals to begin the second half, giving Oxy an 11-4 lead with 15:53 remaining, then the Tigers milked some clock, added three insurance goals and secured a 14-9 win over No. 19 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps.
It's the first time Oxy's ever beaten the Athenas, in three years and six tries, and the first time they've taken down a nationally ranked opponent.
"I'm really proud of them. They have worked really hard and it's nice to have a win like this to validate their effort." said Occidental coach Michele Uhlfelder, who's been with the program since its inception in 2010. "Our kids are learning to play at the highest level. This win has its place in the evolution of our program."
CMS' Madi Shove, who finished with a team-high three goals, scored two during the final 15 minutes, trying to spur a comeback. But Osgood-Roach, Tori Larson (Denver) and Rebecca Belding (Burlingame) all scored free position goals, a theme that was consistently in Oxy's favor throughout the evening. The Tigers converted 6-13 free position shots, compared to CMS going just 1-7.
"Honestly it was an even game statistically," Uhlfelder said. "The difference was a couple of saves and eight-meter shooting."
Oxy was as good defensively as they were efficient on offense when the Athenas fouled, particularly freshman goalie Adrienne Ruth, who totaled nine saves in her first collegiate win.
"She was ready and she was really mentally tough throughout the whole game," Uhlfelder said. "You could see her confidence rise throughout game and she just directed her defense well and really put in a great effort ."
Larson, Belding and Haley Gandsey (Oakland) finished with a pair of goals each for the Tigers.
Before Wednesday, the closest the Tigers had come to defeating CMS was a seven-goal loss (16-9) on April 2, 2011.
"Claremont's a team that hasn't really lost very much," Uhlfelder said. "Our kids were fired up and responded to the opportunity."
The Tigers play Pomona-Pitzer on the road at 1 p.m. on Saturday, then return home on Monday against Adrian at 7 p.m.