Lacrosse: Bears Nip Lions by a Nose in Furious Fight to the Finish

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There is a famous story about Seabiscuit, perhaps the most well-known thoroughbred horse in history.

The Biscuit liked to taunt his foes, letting them pull close but never letting them finish a race in front. It is thought that the horse believed it could better demoralize its opponents that way, and feel generally better about itself in the paddock afterwards.

The Cal women's lacrosse team isn't quite as famed as the Biscuit yet, but it sure is sending teams away with that same sad look on their faces.

Colleen O'Mara had three goals while Emily Edwards added two goals and two assists to lift the No. 25 Bears to an 11-10 victory over Columbia yesterday at Memorial Stadium.

Cal (6-1) held the lead for over two-thirds of the game, but never pulled away and put the game out of reach. Cal's last five victories have come by a combined 10 goals.

"We are not putting away the teams the way we should, and some of that may be our youth," said Cal coach Jill Malko after eight of the Cal's 11 goals were scored by frosh and sophs.

Ellen Lowrey scored her third goal of the game to pull the Lions (4-2) even at 7-7 with 15:35 to play, but Cal scored twice in a 47-second span to regain control.

Halsey Monger blasted home a 12-yard free position shot, and Molly Brady followed by converting a pretty feed from Lauren Karl to make it 9-7 at the 13:57 mark.

"I know the opportunities will be there," Brady said. "I should capitalize off such nice passing,"

Brady added a free-position goal with 3:00 to go to push the margin to three and ostensibly seal the deal. But Columbia would not go away, as Adie Moll tallied a pair in 16 seconds, and it was 10-9.

"We should've won this game," Columbia coach Celine Cunningham said. "They did a good job of capitalizing on their ball possession,"

O'Mara added her third in the final minute, but the Lions' comeback would fall short.

The win was important for the Bears on a number of fronts.

Goalie Eden Coelho continued her solid play, making a pair of big saves when Columbia threatened in the final 90 seconds.

The Bears' balanced scoring

continued to be on display, as seven different players dented twine.

And most importantly, Cal earned a win over a tough East Coast team before starting its four game Atlantic swing Saturday. The first game, at No. 22 Richmond, will likely be the Bears' stiffest test of the season.

"We definitely wanted to win this one to get ready for next week," O'Mara said.

Much like the Bears, Seabiscuit earned its first wins in California but didn't get respect until it was victorious in the East. Cal hopes that effort begins on Saturday.


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