ORANGE/REDLANDS, Calif. — Fast starts and fortuitous scoring in the final minutes prevented Austin College from overcoming Division III No. 6 Chapman University, 13-10, and Division III No. 5 University of Redlands, 16-7, to drop a pair of road games in California.
Facing Redlands in the morning, the Kangroos fell behind early and trailed 6-1 by the conclusion of the first quarter.
A 4-1 spurt in the second quarter, fueled by a pair of goals from Lexi Wong (Fr., Lantana, Texas/Guyer) and single markers by Brooke Le (Fr., Flower Mound, Texas/Flower Mound) and Presley Woods (Fr., Lantana, Texas/Guyer), moved the ‘Roos within 7-5 by halftime, but the Bulldogs returned the favor with a 7-1 outburst in the third quarter to put the contest out of reach at 14-6.
For Austin, Wong and Woods led the way with hat-tricks, while Le chipped in a solo strike and an assist.
In cage, Valery Piachonkina (Fr., Castro Valley, Calif./Mission San Jose) stopped seven shots in taking the loss.
Holly Kvanvig and Nicolette Ramirez powered the Bulldogs’ attack as the duo each deposited four goals. Hunter Olivier (three), Kolby Kahahawai (three), Katelyn Jenkins (one) and Alina Waldo (one) accounted for the remainder of their team’s scoring in support of a nine save effort by netminder Kelly Grosswendt.
Taking on Chapman in the concluding contest of the day, Austin once again fell behind early as the Panthers rattled off a pair of goals in the first quarter and four more in the second quarter to claim a 6-1 by halftime.
Austin, which received a marker from Woods off an assist by Shannon Berry (Fr., Austin, Texas/Westwood) with 6:07 left in the second quarter to break up Chapman’s shutout bid, fell further off the pace as the hosts rattled off back-to-back-to-back tallies to open the third quarter and pull ahead 9-1.
However, the Kangaroos’ hopped back into the game with seven consecutive even-strength goals spanning from 4:16 of the third quarter until 7:01 of the fourth quarter to make it a game and move within 9-8.
Woods started the scoring spree at 4:16 of the third quarter prior to Madison Taylor (Fr., Cooper Canyon, Texas/Marcus) (2:09, 1:38), Wong (58 seconds) and Le (two seconds) following to account for five of the strikes in moving Austin with 9-6 heading into the fourth quarter.
Berry (7:35) and Wong (7:01) caused Chapman some further anxiety with a pair of scores in the opening moment of the final quarter of regulation to place Austin on the cusp of a climatic comeback.
However, Argelia Diaz snapped the streak at 6:10 with a man-up conversion to return Chapman’s lead to a pair at 10-8.
Woods responded with a natural goal at 5:48, but Lauren Dvonch (5:24) delivered a counterpoint at 5:24 from another man-up chance to set the scoreboard at 11-9.
Austin refused to go silently as Wong weaved through the defense to dent the twine at 3:02 with an even-strength bid to once again pull the ‘Roos within one at 11-10.
Chapman, however, found a way to win in its home pool and on its home coast as the Panthers received natural goals by Diaz and Audrey Hattori with 2:49 and 1:14 left on the clock to stifle the first-year varsity Kangroos’ rally hopes and escape with a three-score win.
Wong and Woods both posted three goals in the effort for Austin with Taylor torching the cage for a pair. Berry and Le each chipped in solo scores.
Piachonkina took the loss with six saves.
Diaz and Hattori keyed Chapman’s attack with three goals apiece, while Emily Whitney (two), Kyle Beloian (two), Mia Chanove (one), Dvonch (one) and Charlene Ma (one) also stroked in strikes.
Alyssa Welfringer earned the win with eight saves.