Senior's return sparks first win
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Senior A-wing Sarah Schier (15) takes a shot during Sunday's game against UCSD at Wildcat Field. Schier had a hat trick in the Wildcats' 8-4 win against the Toreros.
Senior Sarah Schier picked an opportune moment to return to the Arizona women's lacrosse team.
After transferring to another school for one semester, she returned to UA this spring, but had to go through a check on her eligibility that cost her the team's first four games.
Those four games were all losses for the Wildcats, and while Schier didn't turn the team around all by herself, her hat-trick certainly helped in Arizona's first win of the season Sunday afternoon 8-4 over UC-San Diego.
"It feels awesome," she said. "I'm so glad to be back."
Schier scored her first goal with 9 minutes, 16 seconds left in the first half to tie the game at 2-2. The Toreros' one-woman wrecking crew was Debbie Fajans, who scored UCSD's two goals in the first half as the Toreros trailed 3-2 at halftime.
After UCSD goals by Kate Pabst and Fajans made it 4-4, Schier and junior attacker Erin Bradbury took control.
Schier gave UA the lead for good with 15:54 left, and she topped that with her third goal with 2:47 remaining. Bradbury scored twice more to record her team-high 10th and 11th goals of the season.
"We were really connecting out there," Schier said. "Everyone was 110 percent."
Coming back from a semester off, plus migraine headaches and a pulled muscle in her leg, Schier said it was her determination that helped her overcome all those obstacles.
"I kind of had to prove myself again out there," she said.
The Wildcats' defense went from surrendering 26 goals in two games to only four Sunday.
"Our defense stepped up," senior Maren Henley said. "(Goalie) Kim (McDonough) made a lot of saves. We had a lot of interceptions out there and picked up a lot of ground balls. We just stepped up 100 percent."
McDonough had four saves and one stuff on the day.
Laxcats' losing streak continues
The UA Laxcats lost to their third straight top-10 opponent Saturday night against BYU 19-5.
Sophomore midfielder Matt Wilkens got the Laxcats on the board two minutes into the game and gave Arizona its first lead in the last three games. BYU responded by scoring 10 unanswered goals en route to an 11-2 halftime lead. In the second half, Arizona showed signs of coming together as a team. The Laxcats were able to win a majority of the face-offs in the half, and while the score may not reflect it, they kept a high level of intensity and did a better job of staying aggressive on defense. Five different players scored goals for the Laxcats.
Head coach Mickey-Miles Felton said he was much more impressed with his team's output for this game, especially in the second half. Felton said against California, he felt the team had given up during the second half, but that against the Cougars there was no let down.
"I hope we come out to play against Michigan the same way we came out in the second half," Felton said.
Felton also said Rich Russo played very well in limited playing time and could see more action if he continues to play at the same level.
The Laxcats continue their tough schedule against No. 9 Michigan tomorrow night at 7 at Wildcat Field.
The Laxcats' youth and inexperience has shown over the last three games, especially defensively and in the net. Arizona's opponents have scored 49 goals in the last three games.
Felton said playing such a rough schedule is an experience that can help the team if the players want to learn from it.
"We need to have a complete effort this game to gain some momentum heading into conference play," Felton said.
- Chris Reimer