TIGERS LAND SIX PLAYERS ON ALL-SCIAC TEAMSBy Michael Wells Sports Information Director
LOS ANGELES — On the heels of its best season in program history, six Occidental College women's lacrosse players were named to the All-SCIAC teams announced on Friday.
Attacker Tori Larson (Denver), midfielder Sarah Kessler (Portland, Ore.) and defender Charlotte Bromley (Watertown, Conn.) made the first team. Attacker Lauren Wemple (Needham, Mass.), midfielder Rebecca Belding (Burlingame) and defender Kristen Feinberg (Haverford, Penn.) made the second team.
The Oxy women's lacrosse squad finished its third regular season 13-3 overall and 7-3 in SCIAC play, made its first appearance in the SCIAC championship game and recorded a double-digit winning streak — 10 consecutive wins spanning nearly two months (Feb. 22 – April 11).
Kessler, Oxy's all-time leading goal scorer (134), was third in the conference in goals per game (3.4) and sixth in points per game (3.9) — both team highs. In non-conference action, the junior matched the Tigers' single-game scoring record with eight goals in a win over Puget Sound on March 13.
"SCIAC teams face tough out of conference opponents, including many of the top-ranked in the West Region," Occidental coach Michele Uhlfelder said. "It's impressive to see Kessler rank third in scoring among all conference players."
She had plenty of help.
Larson, a sophomore, scored 29 goals in conference play and was tied for first in game-winning SCIAC goals with two.
"Tori has earned the respect of our conference opponents, often drawing the other team's best player. Her quickness and speed make her a threat, not only to score, but also re-defending in our midfield," Uhlfelder said. "Tori wants the ball. She has come up with big draws and ground balls, and made huge contributions as a connector in our transition offense."
Wemple, the quarterback for Oxy offensively, ranked fifth in the SCIAC with 1.22 assists per game.
"Wemple played a major role as a vocal leader in our offense. She has become a much smarter player and has worked hard on her ability to recognize open cutters," Uhlfelder said. "There are a lot of reads to make behind the goal, and she has improved our team greatly with her decision making, shooting and footwork."
Oxy's defensive unit was led by Bromley who snatched up 19 ground balls during conference action, second best on an Oxy team that led the conference with 19.5 per game.
"Charlotte's contributions have taken our defense to the next level," Uhlfelder said. "She attacks ground balls with confidence and instinct which has earned her the top spot on our team as the leading ground-ball getter on our team," Uhlfelder said.
Her All-SCIAC mate on the back line was among the best in causing them.
Fienberg, a freshman, averaged 1.44 caused turnovers, fourth best in the conference.
"Kristen is a natural defender," Uhlfelder said. "In her freshman year, Feinberg has come in and given our defensive unit a huge spark."
Belding did a little bit of everything. The sophomore led Oxy with 27 draw controls and was among the team leaders in goals, points and ground balls.
"(Belding) has a high lacrosse IQ and I give her credit for working on all facets of her game," Uhlfelder said. "She is one of our most complete players."
Pomona-Pitzer's Martha Marich was named the player of the year.
Redlands, the SCIAC champion, had eight players make the list, the only school with more than Oxy. Claremont-Mudd-Scripps and Whittier had the next highest totals with five.
Oxy, which lost its last game to Redlands 10-7 in the SCIAC final, is still waiting on a possible at-large bid to the NCAA Division III tournament. The brackets will be determined Sunday.