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February 15, 2014

Wright Scores Game-Winner in OT

LOS ANGELES — The Occidental women's lacrosse team got an excellent performance from goalie Kirsten Hee and its defense, and then a last-minute goal in overtime from Mackenzie Wright, earning a grind-it-out victory over Pomona-Pitzer for control of first place on Saturday.

With less than 1 minute remaining in OT, Wright came from behind the cage, received a perfect pass from Rebecca Belding and buried the game-winning shot to beat the Sagehens, 8-7 at Jack Kemp Stadium.

Oxy moves to 3-0 overall and 3-0 in SCIAC. Pomona-Pitzer falls to 2-1 overall and 2-1 in conference.

The play came off of a free position taken by Brita Loeb, who had a bad angle at the net from the right side and the presence of mind to give it up to Belding. From there, Belding hit Wright on the left side and Wright made it count from point-blank range.

"Me and (Belding) always have really good dynamics, I think she just saw me coming around behind and it worked perfectly and timed out well," Wright said.  

On the ensuing draw, Beebe Finch Sanders secured one of her five draws and the Tigers ran out the clock.

"Our defense played big, Kirsten was great and I was proud of our resiliency today," Oxy head coach Stephanie Janice said. "Obviously that play by Mackenzie off of the free position was the difference, but this was a team win. Lots of players stepped up."

Hee was one of them, making 10 saves in front of Oxy's net.

The biggest lead of the game was when Oxy jumped out in front of the Saghens at the beginning of the first half, 2-0. Pomona-Pitzer never led until taking a 6-5 advantage with 23:01 remaining in the second half.

Rebecca Reese got the Tigers back to even with a free position goal with 14:11 to play.

Oxy had six different players score, with just Wright and Finch Sanders recording multiple goals. Belding, Tori Larson and Alida Beck also scored for the Tigers.

Ally McLaughlin, Hannah Christsenson and Jana London each had a pair of goals for the Sagehens and Emily Foxen had one.

Oxy is back in action on Feb. 22, hosting Whittier at 1 p.m.