Between Pomona-Pitzer’s win at home against Occidental on Saturday and Occidental’s 4-1 loss to Whittier on Wednesday night, the P-P women’s soccer team clinched a SCIAC playoff spot, guaranteeing a dramatic end to the best season they’ve had in years.
“It’s an amazing feeling,” said goalkeeper Emma Wolfarth PO ’14. “Coming out this year and proving to the league we can hang at the top… solidifies us as a true SCIAC contender.”
The Hens suffered a tough overtime loss on Wednesday to SCIAC champion and 11th-ranked Cal Lutheran. Despite the overwhelming reputation of the Regals, the Sagehens fended off the attack and countered with their own, creating a close game in Thousand Oaks. Defender Claire Mueller PO ’13 saved a sure goal, volleying the ball off the line before it could put Cal Lu on top, which effectively sent the game into overtime.
Unfortunately, the extra time proved too much for the Sagehens, and they gave up a goal to Sinead Vaughan ’12 on a free kick into the upper corner in the 100th minute. The game was the closest competition the Regals have had since Sept. 17 when the Redlands Bulldogs took them into overtime.
“It really proves we can beat them,” Jordan Bryant PO ’13 said. “Everyone makes Cal Lu out to be this amazing team, but we’re just as good, and if the ball bounces differently a couple times, that’s our game.”
The Sagehens will have another chance to prove themselves in the SCIAC playoffs next week. With a win over Whittier this Saturday, they would secure third place and play against CMS at CMS, where a win could take them back to Thousand Oaks for the SCIAC final.
Pomona-Pitzer beat Oxy 1-0 on Saturday with an overtime goal by Mueller. With 25 seconds left in the first overtime, Mueller chipped the ball over Oxy keeper Tayler Renshaw ’13 to win the game. The attack started with Mueller winning a ball out of the air and passing to forward Traci Lopez PZ ’12. Lopez played the ball wide left to outside midfielder Dana Christensen PZ ’15. Christensen beat an Oxy defender wide and crossed the ball. Mueller streaked down the field from her defensive position past the Oxy defense, received the ball from Christensen, and placed it over Renshaw for the win. This game winner was Mueller’s second goal of the season and fourth of her career.
“Claire’s goal was amazing,” coach Jennifer Scanlon said. “Scoring inside the penalty box in the run of play is not something you expect from a defender, but it was great to see her take it upon herself to go for the goal-scoring opportunity and put it away.”
Despite the scoreless 99 minutes, the Sagehens outshot the Tigers 18-8 and 5-0 in overtime. Keeper Emma Wolfarth PO ’14 had to make only one save for the Sagehens.
“I was most impressed with the determination we showed throughout the second half and then during overtime to find a way to win the game,” Scanlon said. “Although we were controlling play and having the better chances, we didn’t get frustrated by not scoring and kept pushing until it finally came. We found the right mix of intensity and composure for this game, which is something we have been working on and will need for the remainder of the season.”
The Sagehens host Whittier on Saturday at 11 a.m. and will then play away next Wednesday in the first round of the SCIAC playoffs.