CHICAGO — Three Maroon goals in the first 71 seconds of action, all from Abbey Pouba by way of Karina Schulze, set the tone for the University of Chicago women's lacrosse team in a 17-6 victory over Kalamazoo College on a blustery Sunday afternoon at Stagg Field.
The Maroons now boast a 5-0 record in their inaugural season. The Hornets slid to 1-3 over its first four games.
Pouba's opening hat-trick was the start of a five-goal day for the first-year midfielder, while Schulze would score four goals while adding two more assists to her tally. She also won seven draws and gathered a team-high five ground balls.
As a team, UChicago outshot Kalamazoo 34-18 and held a 32-23 edge in ground balls. The Maroons cleared successfully on 21 of their 22 attempts and often disrupted the Hornets (11 for 23) as they carried in the midfield. When the visitors did get in shooting range, goalie Honor Crandell foiled their efforts with a career-high 10 saves.
The Maroons found net just 9.3 seconds into the contest, as Schulze snatched the opening draw and sprinted down the center of the field before sliding the ball to Pouba for the finish. Half a minute later, Schulze collected a ground ball in her own end and carried into the opposition third, where she connected with Pouba again. Pouba completed her hat trick in slightly over a minute as Schulze claimed the ensuing draw and rapidly set her up teammate once more.
Kalamazoo scored its first from a free position a little more than five minutes in, but the Maroons responded as a crew of first-year midfielders facilitated sustained offensive pressure. Schulze had a free position saved and hit the post soon after before Audrey Kaus converted a useful pass from Ali Sheehy. A minute later, Pouba gathered a pass from Anne Sensenig with her back to the goal and spun past the goalie to make it 5-1 in the seventh minute of play.
UChicago's high pressing defense forced the Hornets to work hard as they moved the ball up the field, but a pair of breakthroughs midway through the half made it 5-3 as the visitors closed the gap.
As Kalamazoo continued to threaten, the Maroons made a long defensive stand, nearly exhausting the shot clock before conceding a foul. Crandell stuffed the free position shot, however, and first-year defender Meghan Bonnist chased down the contested loose ball. After drawing a foul in the process, Bonnist carried downfield and the UChicago offense sprang back into action, with Schulze eventually burying a shot off a well-worked pass from Sensenig.
With under nine minutes remaining in the period, Crandell made a superb one-on-one save to halt a Hornets breakaway and fished the ball out of traffic. Having endured several Kalamazoo attacks, the Maroons now picked up three more goals to extend their advantage. Isabelle Moran split two defenders to make it 8-3 and Lally Johnson wrapped around from the left of goal for another. Schulze then added to the first-year attackers' scores with an agile solo effort of her own, losing her defender with a half-spin toward the middle before darting around the right side.
The Hornets had the last attack of the half and slipped in to score from a free position with 3.3 seconds left, leaving it 10-4 at the interval.
UChicago gradually increased the margin in the first 10 minutes of the second half. Schulze had a free-position attempt denied but stayed with the play and got free cutting across goal to complete her hat trick. Moran came down the middle and bounced one in, then Sensenig briefly made it a double-digit lead at 14-4.
The Hornets got one back with a free position goal, but Crandall halted their next two such efforts to stymie any incipient comeback.
With under 10 minutes left, Johnson rifled a sidearm shot home to restore the 10-point margin. Spinning through traffic, Pouba tacked on one more at the five-minute mark, again courtesy of Schulze. Junior midfielder Maya De Jonge, a team captain, notched her team's 17th and final goal of the day.
- Sunday, Mar. 24 @ 1:00 PM – Linfield College at UChicago