May 7, 2012

OXY WOMEN'S LACROSSE EARNS AT-LARGE BID TO NCAA TOURNEY

By Michael Wells
Sports Information Director
 

LOS ANGELES — The Occidental College women's lacrosse team's best season in program history continues against a familiar opponent.

The Tigers earned an at-large bid to the 31-team NCAA Division III postseason tournament on Sunday after going 13-3 overall and 7-3 in the SCIAC. Their opponent, the only team they've lost to this season: Redlands. Oxy faces the Bulldogs on the road Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Redlands, currently the top-ranked team in the West Region, is 15-1 overall and finished 9-1 in SCIAC play. Oxy is No. 2 in the West.

NCAA BRACKET

The winner plays either Chris Newport (14-5) or Catholic (14-5) in the regional.

Oxy makes its first postseason appearance in just the program's third year.

"(Our team has) worked really hard to put our name out there so the lacrosse community across the country can get familiar with us," said Occidental coach Michele Uhlfelder. "And I think they're extremely proud to represent Occidental."

For the Tigers, who waited and practiced all week uncertain if their season would continue, the excitment came to a head last night when they learned of the news while watching the selction show together.

"When our players heard their name called, that's a moment that will stay with them for the rest of their lives," Uhlfelder said. "I think they'll always remember that excitement and anticipation."

The Tigers lost to Redlands three times this season, with their most recent 10-7 loss in the SCIAC championship game at Oxy on Aril 29, the most competitive.

Oxy had the ball and a chance to even the game, trailing 8-7 with less than 5 minutes remaining, but a pair of goals scored by Katie Colasurdo and Aimee Dewan iced it for the Bulldogs.

The first two matchups weren't as close. Oxy fell 13-6 to the Bulldogs at home in their season opener and 20-11 at Redlands on April 11.

Oxy's led offensively by Sarah Kessler (Portland, Ore.) and Tori Larson (Denver), who've scored 55 and 52 goals respectively. Defensively, Charlotte Bromley (Watertown, Conn.) is the team leader in ground balls (36) and caused turnovers (15). All three women were selected First Team All-SCIAC on May 4.

Kathryn McCaslin, Crystal Painter, Jacquline Craycraft, Megan Prickett, Colasurdo and Ana Martinez – all First Team All-SCIAC representatives – lead the Bulldogs.

Tickets to Wednesday's game are $ 6 for adults, $ 3 for students and senior citizens and $ 2 for those ages 2-12.

The game will be streamed live here.