Athenas Keep the Energy High in Wake of Tie, Loss

Facing
scorching temperatures and even fiercer competition, the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps
women’s soccer team (3-2-1, 0-0 SCIAC) came away with a 0-0 tie against Lewis & Clark College (2-1-1) on Sept. 13 and a loss to University
of California, Santa Cruz (4-4-1) 2-1 on Sept. 14.

The Athenas
fought resiliently in their first match of the weekend to create numerous opportunities to score, outshooting Lewis
& Clark 29-4 through the second overtime. However, the team was unable to break their opponent’s defense for the remainder of the game. CMS had one
goal taken off the board during the first half due to an offside.

During the first overtime, midfielder Makella Brems CM ‘17, midfielder Darrah Shields CM ‘16 and forward Isabel Lester CM ‘15 all
had solid shots that just missed the top of the goal. As the second overtime
ensued, CMS maintained its strong defensive play and kept the ball out of
its net. 

Although the Athenas didn’t walk
away from their home opener with a win, the game ended on a high note. 

“We were excited to be back home,” coach Keri Sanchez said. “We played a great second half, and during overtime was
when we were the most lethal. But at least we put a point on the board instead
of losing.”

Feeling short-changed in the game on
Saturday, CMS took the field on Sunday against UCSC and dominated the first
half, outshooting the Banana Slugs 6-2.

“They played really well,” Sanchez
said. “It was the best first half they had put together all season.”

The Athenas played a highlight-filled first half, featuring a pair of remarkable scoring chances including a shot from forward Katelyn
Faust CM ’17 that struck the cross bar. The second shot, guided by Lester, came from across the net from
the right corner but lacked the momentum to turn the shot into a goal.  

“We had a lot of crosses, but there
would be no one in the box to finish them,” midfielder Mia Siracusa SC ’17 said. “We
are going to work a lot this week on crossing, shooting and finishing.”

In the second half, UCSC broke the
0-0 stalemate by netting a ball in the 67th minute. The Banana
Slugs broke away from the Athenas’ defense and put another point on the board
in the final minutes of regulation.

Trailing behind by two goals, CMS
kept the pressure on by earning a penalty kick after UCSC received a yellow card
in the box. Despite battling exhaustion, Brems nailed the shot past the keeper
into the lower left corner.

Time ran out on the Athenas before
they were able to scrap together another shot to tie it up, leaving the game at
2-1 in USCS’ favor. Although CMS walked away with their second loss of the season,
they were proud of their performance.

“I like seeing that we are improving
from game to game,” Sanchez said. “When we are this early in the season, you
want to see your team continue to improve and have a tough defense that,
overall, limits the amount of shots the other team is scoring.”

Despite the temperature peaking in
the low hundreds during both games, the excitement and effort of the CMS
team did not waiver. Siracusa mentioned that the sweltering heat failed to affect
their performance as a team.

“We are all in pretty good shape, and
we played teams this weekend from colder areas, so if anything, it gave us an
advantage,” she said. 

Throughout the weekend, CMS escaped
the dangers of the tumultuous temperatures by circulating substitutes regularly
in order keep players hydrated.

“We are
lucky that we have some great depth, so we were able to play a lot of numbers
through out the weekend, so nobody had any issues in terms of the heat,” Sanchez
said. “We were surprised to see how little Santa Cruz subbed during Sunday’s
game. But it was also impressive to see some of their players keep the intensity
on the field for all ninety minutes.” 

Coming off of a tie and a loss, the
Athenas were ready to redeem themselves on Sept. 17 against California Lutheran University, scoring early and often to win 4-1 on their home turf. This victory inspired the goals the players and Sanchez have set for the season, providing a positive energy on which to build. 

“We are excited to prove that we can
not only play hard and put in the effort but also win some games,” she said. 

CMS will take the field again on Saturday, Sept. 20, at Whittier College and on Sept. 24 at University of La Verne. 

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