Sagehens Gain Crucial Momentum Heading into League Play

The Pomona Pitzer women’s soccer
team picked up a confidence-boosting 2-0 win against San Diego Christian University on Sept. 13, building momentum ahead of the opening of SCIAC play. P-P
started the game looking to bounce back after a 5-0 loss at Master’s College
the previous week, which dropped the Sagehens below 0.500 on the season.

Kicking off
in triple-digit temperatures, the hosts orchestrated a perfect start. Nicole
Quilliam PO ’15 emerged out of a congested midfield area with a quick burst
before playing a searching through ball toward the right channel. Abby Onderwyzer Gold PO ’18, who opened her collegiate scoring account with a
goal in the Aug. 29 season opener against University of Chicago, ran onto
the pass, keeping her composure to slide the ball home beneath the onrushing
SDC keeper Katherine Koury.

After the early breakthrough,
however, the heat and the tenacity of the Hawks began to wear on P-P, as the Hens struggled to find a consistent rhythm. Goalkeeper Annie Wedel PO ’16 had to be at her best
in the 27th minute as she parried away a powerful attempt from
Christian Schmidt on an SDC breakaway. Just seconds later, the Hawks came close
once again, with Chantel Louden hitting the bar off a corner kick. The visitors
were edging increasingly closer to an equalizer. Wedel had defender Lindsay
Piwinski PZ ’18 to thank in the 29th minute, with the latter
clearing off the goal line after an Ashley Jarosin shot made it past the P-P
keeper. 

Apart from that brief flurry of events, however, the first half was a
scrappy affair. The Sagehens’ attempts to work the ball to the wings and their dangerous wide players were stymied by an energetic performance from SDC,
who were able to disrupt P-P’s passing in midfield. 

Still, there were certainly
positives in the first half for the hosts, who were able to repel most of the
Hawks’ forays forward by being dominant in the air. With a maintained lead
going into the half, P-P started the second period on top, with
Danika Bethune PO ’17 drawing a save from Koury early in the first half and Katie Tao PO ’17 also getting a sight of goal.

Wayward shooting meant that the
margin remained at only one goal, and the Sagehens were nearly made to pay for not shooting during their period of relative dominance. A spurt of SDC
pressure saw Wedel called upon once more to make a good save, smothering a breakaway
attempt by Vivian Oray in the 61st minute. 

Minutes later, Bethune nearly put the game to bed, breaking free of the SDC defense and
confidently slotting the ball underneath the onrushing Koury. The Hawks keeper
was well beaten, but Bethune’s attempt hit against the
left upright before caroming back out. After Wedel and Koury traded saves in
the following minutes, the game fell into a temporary lull, with neither side
fashioning decent opportunities. 

The result was finally settled in the 75th
minute, although the strike, ironically, did not come off the foot of a P-P
player. 

Instead, it was the Hawks who put the ball into their own net as a
dangerously-drilled cross ballooned off a SDC defender and past the helpless
Koury to take the margin to two goals. With a Sagehens victory all but ensured,
the game largely died down. P-P was happy to sit on its lead, and the Hawks
failed to threaten an unlikely late comeback.

When the
final whistle sounded, P-P’s early season record moved to a respectable 2-2,
injecting greater belief into the ranks ahead in the conference
season. Although the Sagehens were unable to realize the extent of their
offensive potential, they played strong against dogged opponents in unforgiving conditions. 

P-P has high hopes for their home game on Saturday, Sept. 20, against University of Redlands. 

Update: The print version of this article incorrectly identified Griffin Ferre as the author.

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