Athenas roll over Sagehens on Hack’s milestone day

Two players look at the yellow ball that rolls on the ground around their feet.
Eryn Rogers CM ’19 and Eleanor Mackey PO ’22 fight for a ground ball in the Athenas’ 15-4 win over the Sagehens on April 20. (Amy Best • The Student Life)

The locker room had been decorated by eager underclassmen, while parents and fans lined Zinda Field.

Ahead of the women’s lacrosse Sixth Street rivalry matchup between Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (14-2, 10-0 SCIAC) and Pomona-Pitzer (11-5, 6-3 SCIAC), the game would go one of two ways — either CMS would extend its SCIAC win streak to 34, or P-P would pull off the ultimate upset on CMS’ Senior Day.

Yet by halftime April 20, the outcome was clear. CMS led 10-1, well on its way to a second straight undefeated conference regular season. The final score was 15-4, a resounding beatdown.

Athena captains Corie Hack CM ’19 and Nicole Greenberg SC ’19 both said the victory started with the team’s defensive effort.

“I think our defensive unit really worked hard and did well. We played to our strengths,” Greenberg said. This was especially important against P-P, a historically strong offense, Hack added.

But it was the Athena offense that dominated Saturday. CMS scored on nearly 50% of its shots, which helped lead to the 11-goal victory.

Hack scored six goals for CMS, which helped her reach a milestone: 200 career goals. The senior is one of only three CMS players to ever accomplish that feat. The achievement was even more special given the setting, she said.

A Sagehen player shoots the ball, as CMS players try to defend.
Thyra Herrmann PZ ’21 takes a free position shot in the Sagehens’ 15-4 loss to CMS on April 20. (Amy Best • The Student Life)

“I think what made it really special for me was it was my Senior Day, my parents were here, my friends from home were here,” Hack said. “So to hit that really big milestone and hear them all cheer was really special.”

Greenberg agreed.

“Just getting to hug her and celebrate her after that … this was an amazing game for that milestone,” she said.

Despite their dominance of the SCIAC for the past three years, the Athenas said they do not take victories for granted.

“I think finding the importance in every single game and understanding that we can learn and grow from each game has been really important to our success,” Greenberg said. “We play so many games that being excited for each one and having a goal is always there pushing us to work harder.”

“I think what made it really special for me was it was my Senior Day, my parents were here, my friends from home were here,” Hack said. “So to hit that really big milestone and hear them all cheer was really special.”

The Sagehens, who fell to CMS in the SCIAC championship game last year, finished second in the SCIAC, securing home field advantage in the first round of the SCIAC tournament.

“We are disappointed to lose to CMS, because I don’t think the game was a complete representation of what we can do,” Sarah Woo PZ ’21 said. “We are really fired up to play them again so we can put together more of a complete game. I do give credit to CMS though, they played really well.”

Hack attributed much of the Athenas’ success to the leadership of head coach Lauren Uhr, who has been with the team for the past five years.

“I think it’s a testament to how well she knows the team,” Hack said. “She knows what our weaknesses are, what our strengths are and how to work on those.”

Greenberg also said the team’s welcoming environment plays a role.

“We all treat each other like family,” Greenberg said. “I genuinely feel supported and loved by everyone and I think everyone feels the same.”

The SCIAC tournament, which begins May 1 at CMS, will include both CMS, playing Chapman, and P-P, playing Occidental. The Athenas are trying to clinch another tournament win and advance to the NCAA tournament for the third straight year.

“We want to come out and really have some dominant postseason games, so that when we go into the NCAA tournament … we want to be able to hit those games having come off two really good, successful wins,” Hack said.

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