PP Women's Soccer Extends Season with 3-0 Win over Occidental

Pomona-Pitzer midfielder Bria Varnbuhler (PO ’20) passes to forward Natasha Thornton-Clark (PO ’18) in their game at Pomona’s Lower Field against Occidental on Oct. 28. The Sagehens won the game 3-0. (Meghan Joyce • The Student Life)

The Pomona-Pitzer women’s soccer team (9-7-3) clinched a place in the SCIAC tournament Saturday with a crucial 3-0 Senior Day victory over the Occidental Tigers (7-7-2). The Sagehens' season would’ve been over with a loss or tie, but they were able to secure a second place finish in the conference – the sixth straight year they’ve finished in the top four.

P-P’s offense gave them an early lead. Natasha Thornton-Clark PO '18 scored in the 15th minute of play, followed a minute later by Bria VarnBuhler’s PO '20 with a deep strike from in front of the goal. Just 16 minutes into the game, the Sagehens held a commanding 2-0 lead.

The team’s defense was strong throughout the game. Occidental was unable to attempt a single shot on goal in the first half.

The game slowed down after the Sagehens' quick start. The two teams went back and forth, yet both were unable to find the goal until the 59th minute. With a beautiful pass through the defense, Chloe Hamer PZ '21 set up a goal by Abby Onderwyzer-Gold PO '18 to add to the lead.

The 3-0 deficit proved insurmountable for the visiting Tigers, and the Sagehens celebrated the extension of their season, and their seniors’ collegiate careers.

The five seniors on the team – Molly Mosher PO '18, Ellie Harris PO '18, Natasha Thornton-Clark PO '18, Abby Onderwyzer Gold PO '18 and Lindsay Piwinski PZ '18 – were all honored before the game.

Mosher called the must-win situation “a strong motivating force,” adding that “this was the first step toward us continuing our post-season run."

"It was heartening to see the younger players all over the field working hard for us as seniors,” she said.

The seniors on the team have been a part of multiple very talented and successful teams – the Sagehens have gone to the NCAA tournament twice in the last three years.

Harris, a newcomer to the team, said “this year a lot of players are returning from a really successful season last year, so the standard is pretty high.”

The players point towards their team’s cohesion as the reason for its continued success. “What makes P-P women's soccer successful is our unparalleled connections with each other off the field that translate to our performance on the field,” Mosher said.

Harris added, “when we bond off the the field, it leads to success on the field.”