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April 23, 2014

Oxy Beats Whittier, One Win Away from SCIAC Title

LOS ANGELES — The Occidental women's lacrosse team is officially one win away from clinching at least a share of its first ever SCIAC Championship.

Alida Beck went off for five goals against Whittier on Wednesday — after being face-guarded for 60 minutes when the teams met just four days earlier — as Oxy beat the Poets 15-6 in the First Round of the SCIAC Championship Tournament at Jack Kemp Stadium, setting itself up for what will essentially be a conference championship game.

The Tigers advance to play at Redlands on Monday at 7 p.m. It is only the semifinals, but adding up the conference standing point total gives it championship implications for Oxy.

After tying with Redlands and Pomona-Pitzer for first place at 8-2 at the end of the double round robin, Oxy missed out on a first-round bye because of the goal differential tiebreaker that favored Redlands and Pomona-Pitzer. But in a funny turn of events, dropping to the No. 3 seed allowed them an opportunity to earn an extra point in the First Round against Whittier, putting Oxy one point ahead in the standings after Wednesday's win.

In SCIAC women's lacrosse, the champion is determined based on a point system that includes the regular season and championship tournament. One point for each double round robin win, one for a win in the first round of the playoffs, three for a win and two for a loss in the semifinals, and five for a win and four for a loss in the finals.

If the Tigers beat Redlands on Monday, they'll earn three more points and be guaranteed at least four more in the finals, giving them at least a share of the conference title.

There are no tiebreakers in the SCIAC for championships besides for tournament seeding purposes.

Beck got hot from right out of the gate, scoring three of Oxy's first four goals as the Tigers took a 5-2 lead into halftime.

In the second half, Brita Loeb, Tori Larson and Beebe Finch Sanders all added two scores. After Whittier's Lily Baxter scored one of her team-high three goals to cut Oxy's lead to 6-4 with 24:59 to play, the Tigers rattled off six unanswered to put the game out of reach.

The Tigers crushed the Poets on the draw 16-7. Loeb led the way with four and Larson, Rebecca Belding and Finch Sanders all added three.

Mary Richardson had a goal and an assist for the Tigers.

Oxy's defense —led by Emily Fowler, Monica Rosenkranz, Mary Morrissey and Kristin Feinberg — held its opponent to single figures for the 11th time this season and the fifth game in a row.

Oxy goalkeeper Kirsten Hee made seven saves and grabbed two ground balls as the last line of defense.

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