Pomona-Pitzer women’s soccer prevailed
2-1 in a home match Saturday Oct. 19 against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps to complete the series victory against their
rivals. The home side took the lead just before half time with a cracking 40-yard strike from Katie Tao PO ’17, surely a contender for goal of the season.
The Hens doubled their lead through Julia Dohner PO’ 16 before CMS got a goal
back almost immediately via Isabel Lester CM ’15, setting up a nervy finish to the
match. P-P followed that victory with a 3-1 win over Chapman on Wednesday, Oct. 23. With the two wins, P-P improved their record to 9-2 in SCIAC, leaving them one win shy of clinching a SCIAC postseason berth. CMS, on
the other hand, fell to 5-7-3 overall and 4-4-2 in league play after the loss to P-P.
In the win against Chapman, the Sagehens tied a school record with their 11th win of the season. The hat trick from Allie Tao PO ’14, the second of her collegiate career, gave P-P all the goals they would need to win.
Lining up in the 4-2-3-1 formation Saturday (and still missing Nicole
Quilliam PO’15), P-P continued with a slightly more direct style
that they have adopted over the past couple of games. Still maintaining a
significant amount of possession time, the Sagehens transitioned from
defense to offense much quicker and managed to expose the opponent’s
defense much more, since CMS was unable to reorganize their formation due
to the speed of the attack.
However, despite adopting a more explosive playing style, the
home side found it hard to break through rival CMS’s well-organized defense. CMS
covered the spaces well and was fairly effective at choking the home side’s
offensive play. Chances for both teams were few and far
between, limited to long shots, which made the match feel extremely cagey. The first chance of note came in the 20th minute when Allie Tao shot high. It was clear
something special would be required to break the deadlock, and Katie Tao delivered before halftime. Receiving the ball nearly 40 yards out,
she let loose a thunderous drive that sizzled the net, scoring an absolute
screamer to give P-P the lead going into the break.
The second half resumed with the same cautiousness and caginess
that characterized much of the first half. However, being a goal behind, CMS took more control of the game, calling goalkeeper Corey Goelz PO ’17 into action
a number of times. She made a double save in quick succession—first from
Shandra Ullman CM ’14, and then from Lauren Phillips CM ’14 from the resulting corner because of the
first save. Despite having shooting opportunities, CMS failed to make them
count, shooting high or
wide. They were made to pay in the 77th minute after a corner from
Allie Tao. Katie Tao, Allie’s younger sister, continued her good
work by unleashing a stinging shot after the ball fell to her. CMS goalkeeper
Molly Freed made a good save but the rebound fell straight to Dohner, who tucked it away to seal the victory.
However, as they have done numerous times this season, the
Sagehens made the game difficult for themselves by conceding a goal only four minutes later.
Reminiscent of Dohner’s goal, Goelz managed to parry away a
shot by Makella Brems CM ’17, but only as far as Lester, who made no mistake and
gave the Athenas a lifeline.
The visitors fell into their old patterns and failed
to finish near P-P’s goal, having two shooting opportunities
in the final minutes which were not clear-cut chances. In the end, the home
side managed to close out the game to earn another important 2-1 victory
against rival CMS to bag the season series.
On Wednesday evening, P-P traveled to
Chapman University and clinched another series victory with a 3-1 win thanks to another exceptional
performance from Allie Tao, who opened the scoring with two goals in the first 24 minutes before adding a third goal early in the second half. P-P is sitting comfortably in second place in SCIAC as the regular season finale draws near, just one win behind first-place Cal Lutheran.
P-P returns to action Saturday when they will host
Whittier College on Senior Day to try to become the first team in school history to
reach 12 wins.