Late Thompson Goal Keeps Women’s Soccer Team in Playoff Contention

The Pomona-Pitzer women’s soccer team celebrated an important victory against the Whittier College Poets on Wednesday night after defeating their opponents 1-0 in regulation play. The win brings the Sagehens’ record in SCIAC to 5-6-1.

Sam Thompson PZ ’15 got the Sagehens on the board in the 85th minute on a breakaway assisted by center defender Arianna Sanchez PO ’14.

“It felt freaking awesome. There was only so much time left in the game, and we just had to win it,” Thompson said, recalling what it felt like to get the go-ahead goal.

Spirits were particularly high after the victory since the Sagehens had been devastated after losing to Whittier in the first round of SCIAC play. Members of the team felt that this was their game to win.

“Let’s just say they got what was coming to them,” said Arianna Sanchez PO ’14.

Before the goal, both halves were overwhelmingly dominated by strong P-P play; this was especially true in the center of the field, where the trio of Sarah Ach PZ ’14, Charlotte Fisken PO ’14 and Amanda Coba PO ’15 proved too much for the Poets to handle.

Other stand-out performances came from Rachel Brownell PO ’15 and Nicole Quilliam PO ’15, who spent the evening terrorizing the Whittier defense. 

Earlier in the week, the Sagehens lost a hard-fought battle with the first-place California Lutheran University Regals 2-1. The Sagehens kept the contest close until the last three minutes in regulation when the Regals were able to sneak one past P-P goalie Helena Epps PO ’16. The goal was particularly disappointing because it genuinely looked like the Sagehens were going to hold on and push the game into overtime. That would have been an impressive accomplishment, considering the Regals were undefeated in SCIAC play coming into the game.

The first goal of the game came in the 20th minute when a Cal Lutheran player volleyed a shot over the head of Epps to give the Regals an early 1-0 lead.

Despite going into halftime behind on the scoreboard, the Sagehens were not discouraged and started off the second half strong. Finally, after almost 10 minutes of hard play, P-P was rewarded with an equalizing goal that came off of a corner knocked in by forward Thompson.

The tie held for most of the rest of the game, but, unfortunately for the Sagehens, only the final score goes into the books.

Overall the game felt reminiscent of the Sagehens’ season as a whole so far: surprisingly disappointing.

P-P women’s soccer headed into the fall confident that this was going to be one of their most successful seasons ever. Unfortunately for the Sagehens, scattered injuries and bad luck in closely-contested games have resulted in a season that has been much less successful than anticipated—so far at least.

Unlike many Division III athletes at schools like Pomona College or Pitzer College, the ladies of PPWS are not ready to give up just yet. They will spend the next two weeks fighting tooth and nail, as they did against Whittier on Wednesday, for a spot in the playoffs and a shot at the record books. There is no telling how far the Sagehens might go.

The Sagehens’ next game will be a contest at home against long-time rival Occidental College at 11 a.m. Students staying on campus over Fall Break should make the trek down to the lower field to support these extremely driven players.

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