The Sagehens won an unbelievable contest against first-seeded California Lutheran University in an epic Wednesday evening game this week. The win was Pomona-Pitzer’s first in a SCIAC semifinal since 2005 and the most exciting win of the 2012 season to date.
The game both began and ended on exciting notes.
The first scoring chance of the day went to Cal Lutheran when they had a heart-stopping shot off the crossbar. Despite that early opportunity, the Sagehens were able to withstand the Regal attack for the remainder of the first half to head into halftime with the scoreboard tied.
The game remained a defensive struggle until Cal Lutheran opened up the scoring early in the second half to gain a 1-0 lead. Determined not to give up, however, the Sagehens made sure the lead did not last for long.
A shot off the foot of captain and native Nebraskan Claire Mueller PO ’13 hit the crossbar and rebounded right to Julia Dohner PO ’16, who finished it to tie up the scoreboard.
The game got increasingly intense after that. Back and forth, the momentum seemed to shift every few minutes. The best opportunity to put the Sagehens ahead came from the foot of Allie Tao PO ’14 when she ripped a shot that hit the post with only a few minutes left in regulation time. Had the shot gone in, the game would have ended 2-1 in the Sagehens’ favor, but instead, the two teams remained tied on the scoreboard and were sent into a golden-goal overtime period to decide it all. On the line for the Sagehens was a trip to the SCIAC finals, and they only had two 10-minute periods to win it in.
They did not need all 10 minutes.
It took only one minute and 41 seconds for the Sagehens to score the game winner. Dohner came up huge for the Sagehens with her second goal of the day to propel the Sagehens into the SCIAC finals. The goal may not have been pretty, but it went over the line—that is all that really matters in the game of soccer.
After the game, Dohner was in shock over what had just happened on the field as she claimed, “I am still in disbelief.” Everyone on the P-P bench shared Dohner’s surprise.
“We weren’t even sure if it was actually a goal, but I’m so glad that it was,” said Claudia Zaugg PO ’13.
Not to be forgotten, earlier in the week, the Sagehens played another nail-biter of a game against University of La Verne in order to make it to Wednesday night’s game.
Going into the game, since University of Redlands won earlier in the day, the Sagehens knew they needed a win in order to continue their season. For the ladies of PPWS, a tie was not going to be enough.
As expected at this point in the season, the game began with an exceptional play from all-star Tao who had an early shot that was saved off the line by a defender. Proving that lightning can strike twice in the game of soccer, the same fate befell a shot from Dohner only minutes later. The Sagehens began to look desperate as the clock ticked away, and it became increasingly clear that a huge momentum shift was about to come one way or another.
The Sagehens finally got a huge goal from Mueller to get on the scoreboard, 1-0.
Throughout the second half it felt as if time were standing still. The Sagehen defense held strong, but the game ended with anxious moments as La Verne pinged a ball into the box that missed wide with less than five minutes to play.
The Lady Hens will play their next game on Saturday against Chapman University in the SCIAC finals—their most important game to date. If they are able to pull off another incredible win, they will achieve their ultimate goal of making it to the NCAA tournament and be crowned SCIAC champions. The Sagehens’ record so far this season against Chapman is 1-1, so this will be the deciding and final contest between the two SCIAC superpowers.