RIVERSIDE--- California Baptist University closed out the Lancer Invite with a 3-1 record over the course of the two days, defeating Whittier College 15-5 after a hard-fought loss to the No. 1 Trojans of Southern California (19-6).
The No. 19 Lancers improve to 7-5 on the season before heading out on the road again next weekend. CBU ended the night on a high-note with a 15-5 win over the Poets and continued its balanced offense.
Just 20 seconds into the game, Hannah Evans finds a scoring opportunity to start the Lancers off ahead of the Poets. Mallory Montano and Laura Kocsis also had scoring drives late in the first quarter to advance the Lancers to a solid 3-0 lead.
The Poets slipped one past Leticia Perez in goal with just over a minute left in the first but the clock wouldn’t run down until Molly Gritchen managed to find the back of the cage with four seconds left.
Again, the Lancers started off with a goal less than a minute into the second quarter by Samantha Banks. Evans added her second goal and Gritchen added two more goals within two minutes. The Lancers wouldn’t allow the Poets to score again before heading into the half.
Evans, Raine Paul and Kocsis scored to bring the Lancers to a 12-1 lead over Whittier midway through the quarter.
The Poets capitalized on a 6-on-5 opportunity but the period wouldn’t end before Banks lobbed the ball over the Whittier goalie’s head in a 3-on-1 situation.
“We wanted to get out early and keep the pressure on throughout the game and we did a great job of that,” coach Jonathan Miller said. “The girls played great defense and did exactly what they needed to do to end on a good note.”
Sophomore Meghan Rowland started the game against USC with two big saves before the Trojans got on the board. Gritchen then found herself wide open for a goal and shot one into the back of the cage midway through the first to tie the game 1-1.
The Trojans managed four more goals but the period wasn’t over until Young was able to capitalize on a 6-on-5 opportunity with 20 seconds left, bringing the score to 5-2 USC.
Kocsis fired one in from the left post in another 6-on-5 situation giving CBU three goals to the Trojans' nine in the second quarter. Banks found the back of the goal midway through the third and Jessica Castellano fired one in from 20-meters out with less than a minute left before the fourth.
Kocsis scored the first goal of the fourth quarter bringing the score to 17-6 USC, and the Lancers held the Trojans to just two more goals before the clock ran down.
“To consistently put in goals in each quarter was a really good sign for us against a team like USC,” Miller said. “I thought we played really well against such a tough team and there were a lot of good things to take away from it.”
The Lancer women travel to Bloomington, Ind. next week where they will face the University of Indiana Feb. 21 and Michigan Feb. 22.