Allie Tao PO ’14 led the Pomona-Pitzer women’s soccer team on Wednesday with two goals and one assist in a decisive 4-1 victory against the Occidental Tigers. Samantha Thompson PZ ‘15 and Rachel Brownell PO ‘15 scored the other Sagehen goals. The game brought the team to 2-3 in the SCIAC and 3-4 overall in the season. In their game against Occidental, however, the Sagehens put on a display of skill and dominance reminiscent of a team significantly better than their record suggests.
Defensively, as always, the Sagehens looked solid. The only Tiger goal came off a free kick that took an unpredictable bounce over the hands of Sagehen goalkeeper Annie Wedel PO ’16.
“The goal against us was a fluke,” Claudia Zaugg PO ‘13 said.
Other than that one unfortunate play, the game was all P-P domination.
“We spent the entire second half attacking in their defensive half of the field,” Nicole Quilliam PO ’15 said.
The Sagehens scored a season-high number of goals, which suggests that the various pieces of the team’s attack are finally coming together for the first time this year. This offensive surge could not have come at a better time for the Sagehens mentally, after they suffered a difficult 1-0 loss to the Whittier Poets earlier in the week. During that game, P-P held a 17-6 edge in shots and a 5-1 edge in corner kicks for the game, but they were unable to gain any kind of real offensive momentum.
Whittier, however, capitalized late in the first half to score the game’s only goal.
The trouble for the Sagehens started when Wedel was involved in a nasty collision with a Whittier player late in the first half. Although she was able to stay in the game at the time, Whittier struck shortly after the incident to put themselves ahead with just 45 seconds left before halftime. The goal came off a wicked cross from outside the box that snuck behind P-P defender Claire Mueller PO ’13. The ball fell at the foot of a Whittier attacker, who sent the ball easily into the back of the net.
After halftime, Wedel had to sit out the rest of the game as a result of the collision, giving goalkeeper Helena Epps PO ’16 her first minutes of the season. Epps and the rest of the Sagehen defense shut out the Poets during the second half, but it was too late to come out of the competition on top.
“I think losing to teams that we could have beaten has made us want to prove ourselves more. I think these losses will force us to come out harder than ever in order to make it into the playoffs and will serve as a motivator for us to score more goals and win more games,” Tao said after the disappointing loss.
If the week’s turnaround is any indication, the Sagehens are going to be a force to be reckoned with in SCIAC from here on out. Their next game is on Saturday at Redlands University.