Lacrosse sticks all over the nation have once again crumbled to the Cal Poly women’s lacrosse team after it won a sixth-straight national title in the Women’s Division Intercollegiate Associates National Championship on Saturday.
The Mustangs blew away No. 4 Michigan 12-7 in the championship game Saturday. Both teams stepped out onto Tom Kimbrough Stadium with hot sticks. Michigan was coming off of a 15-6 upset against No. 1 Colorado State, while No. 2 Cal Poly had the upper hand with five previous national titles and a win against Colorado 10-6 the day before.
Cal Poly anticipated another championship game against Colorado State and when the underdog Michigan came from behind for the win, the Mustangs were a little thrown off.
“I think we were more worried just because we are more comfortable playing Colorado State. It seems like Michigan is kind of unpredictable and earlier this season we lost to them. We weren’t used to losing to anyone so it made us a little nervous,” attacker Kaitlin Chandler said.
Without any hesitation, Mustang Janelle Jones scored two to start off the game. Michigan responded with one goal, and then brought on the heat with a four-goal streak, putting them up 5-2 with seven minutes left in the half. Jones scored once more, along with senior Meryl Rodgers. But it wasn’t enough to put Cal Poly ahead in the half, as the Mustangs trailed 5-4 at the buzzer, their first time being down all season.
“We were kind of flustered and the officials were not doing a very good job. And Michigan has a different style play than us. But we knew if we played our style of game, and got over the whole referee thing then we could do it,” said Chandler.
“Even though we were down, we ended (the second half) on a good note because we had come back from being down 5-2. This whole year we’ve been a second-half team,” attacker Jackie Pugh said.
As the second half began, the thought of a championship title hovered over the field as both teams were hungry for the win. Sisters Janelle and Brittany Jones dominated the Wolverines in the next 30 minutes as they posted one and three goals, respectively. Michigan tried to start a rally with three goals by senior Claire McTaggart and two more from freshman Alexis Pavle. But it wasn’t enough for the Wolverines as five-time defending champion Cal Poly swept the field and the nation for their sixth win.
Janelle Jones led the game for the Mustangs with four goals, followed by Brittany Jones with three.
“I think Janelle is an amazing player and it’s breathtaking to watch her. Brittany is definitely up there too and they’re a great little team. They’ve got their sister connection I think,” Chandler said.
Additionally, Rodgers posted a point in each half, while Julie Friesen and Chandler had second-half scores, with two and one respectively. Goalie Danielle Burchett grounded a firm defense with eight saves.