Athenas soccer fights to the end against Redlands in SCIAC season opener

Cate Lewison HM ’26 chases down opponent on Wednesday. The Athenas fell to the Redland Bulldogs 2-1 in the SCIAC season opener. (Courtesy Julian Rivera-Williams)

The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women’s soccer team fought tirelessly against the University of Redlands Bulldogs on Wednesday night but ultimately fell to a 2-1 loss. It was a gritty match for both sides at Pritzlaff Field, likely due to the pressure that came with it being both teams’ SCIAC season opener.

The home game for CMS intensified quickly when the Bulldogs scored in the first four minutes off of a cross into the box. Undeterred by this quick goal, the Athenas fired back with eight shots, all barely missing the frame or blocked by a stellar save from the Bulldog’s goalie. 

Eleven minutes into the game, Laurel Ovenell SC ’24 took a corner kick headed by Emma Fogg SC ’25. The ball bobbled in the air near the goal but was cleared by a Redlands defender. The Athenas’ offense didn’t let up on the Bulldogs for the rest of the first half and fought relentlessly to force the ball toward their goal, ultimately coming up empty.

“That game was a tough one, but for most of the game you could see the drive and determination our team had to push forward and create opportunities,” Olivia Tuffli HM ’23 said. “We got more shots off than previous games, which is great, but now it’s about making sure that we can play well for the full 90 minutes.”

The Bulldogs started the second half similar to the first, scoring again within the first four minutes off of a breakaway. Their lead was boosted to 2-0, sending CMS into a panic to score. The Athenas attempted to get on the scoreboard with two more corner kicks that ended up right on the doorstep of the goal, before being cleared by the Bulldogs’ defense. 

Although CMS dominated possession time in the second half, they couldn’t break through until there were 11 minutes left in the game. Off a cross from Kaitlyn Helfrich CM ’25, Riley Zitar CM ’26 scored her first career goal for the Athenas, changing the score to 2-1. Though the goal was reason for celebration, it was not enough to prevent a loss for CMS. 

Despite the result, the team was satisfied with the way they played. 

“I was really proud to see my team fight until the last minute,” Sam Ree CM ’23 said. “We did a great job at creating chances for ourselves in the attack and pressing hard when they had the ball.”

Nicole Oberlag CM ’23 echoed these sentiments, viewing the game as a learning experience.

“It was an unfortunate loss, but I think we are excited and hungry to come back,” Oberlag said. “We definitely were the better team … We are going to improve on starting the game out with control and finishing our chances.” 

Following this loss, the Athenas’ record dropped to 2-4, while Redlands’ record improved to 1-3. The Athenas went on to improve their record to 3-4 with their win at La Verne on Saturday. CMS won 1-0 with Cate Lewinson’s HM ’26 first career goal in the 40th minute of the game. Similar to the game against Redlands, the Athenas controlled the game offensively with 16 shots on goal and seven corner kicks. The Athenas’ next home game is against Whittier College on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Facebook Comments