Lost and found: Chapman offense comes back in 'Senior Night' win

Michelle Mendoza (Larry Newman Photography)
Michelle Mendoza (Larry Newman Photography)

ORANGE, Calif. – The Chapman University women's lacrosse team found its offense and earned a big 14-8 victory over visiting Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges on Saturday night at Wilson Field. The 'Senior Night' win boosted the Panthers into a tie for fourth place in the standings, with the potential to earn the No. 3 seed in the SCIAC Championships if Redlands loses on Monday.

After scoring just four goals in each of its past two games, Chapman (7-5 overall, 5-5 SCIAC) scored 14 in this one. The Panthers built a sizeable first half advantage with five consecutive goals to finish the first half with a 10-2 lead. Freshman M Becka Wachtel scored three goals during the Panthers' scoring run and then opened the second half with another goal to finish with a game-high four goals.

The Panthers extended their lead to 10 on senior A Michelle Mendoza's second goal of the game to give Chapman a 13-3 lead. However, Claremont (8-6 overall, 5-5 SCIAC) rallied for five straight scores of its own to cut the Panther lead in half at 13-8 with 1:48 remaining, but that was as close as it would get.

On a night when Chapman honored three of its seniors playing in their final regular season home game, Mendoza and senior A Kylee Moore each scored a pair of goals, while senior D Kristin Robbins led all defenders with six ground balls and forced two turnovers.

Sophomore GK Tara Sonnemaker made eight saves for her seventh win of the season. It marked the seventh time in her past eight games in goal with at least eight saves.

Chapman's playoff fate is still to be determined, pending a Monday night matchup between first-place Pomona-Pitzer and third-place Redlands. Should Redlands lose, they would fall into a three-way tie with Chapman and Claremont, in which the Panthers own the tie-breaker and would secure the No. 3 seed in the SCIAC Championships and host No. 6 seed Whittier on Wednesday at 7 p.m. If Redlands wins, Chapman would earn the No. 5 seed and open the Championships at Claremont in a rematch on Wednesday.

by Doug Aiken
Sports Information Director

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