Pomona-Pitzer women’s soccer fell 2-0 against reigning SCIAC champions Cal Lutheran in a close competition on Wednesday evening. The game brought the Sagehens’ overall record in SCIAC to 1-2-0, leaving them at sixth in the division. The game, while disappointing, left the Sagehens with an optimistic feeling that things can and will only get better as the season goes on.
“The final standings aren’t determined by the first three games,” Assistant Coach Tony Basso said after the game.
This is the dawning of a new age in the P-P women’s soccer program. After losing only three starters from last year’s squad, which made it to semi-finals of the SCIAC tournament, the remaining seasoned Sagehens are entering this season with newfound confidence and determination. After struggling with unpredictable and often devastating injuries for years, the team is finally healthy and ready to seriously compete for the SCIAC crown.
This grand potential is not lost on any of the players, especially the four seniors who have waited three years for this opportunity.
“Of all my years on PPWS, this is the most exciting and talented group of individuals we have ever assembled. Let’s just say we are all optimistic about the season ahead of us,” Claudia Zaugg PO ‘13 said.
With the newly restructured SCIAC preseason rules, the team had an extra two weeks of practice and team bonding, making this group as cohesive and prepared as possible.
The team overcame its first obstacle in its inaugural week of play when, despite an overtime loss to cross-street rivals Claremont-Mudd-Scripps only days before, the team managed to bounce back and defeat Chapman University 2-1 last Saturday.
After going up early 1-0 as Ying Fry PZ ’16 finished a cross from outside back Claire Mueller PO ’13, the Sagehens found the game tied up again 1-1 just minutes into the second half when Chapman scored on a corner kick. Undeterred by this setback, P-P came out of the game victorious after forward Allie Tao PO ’14 hoisted the team on her shoulders with exceptional individual effort to score the game-winner with thirty minutes remaining in the second half.
“I think it was a great way to get our first SCIAC win. They were ranked 25th in the nation so it was a good way to take the sting away from the hard CMS loss,” Mueller said.
The same kind of determination was displayed in the Cal Lutheran game when, in the second half, goalkeeper Annie Wedel PO ’16 saved a penalty kick opportunity to prevent the score from becoming 0-3. Wedel went on to make a number of other exceptional saves to keep the Sagehens within striking distance of their opponents.
Determined to focus on their successes rather than missteps and positives over negatives, it seems that P-P women’s soccer is ready to have a fantastic season and a run at the SCIAC championship.