Pomona-Pitzer women’s soccer team continued their stellar start to league play
this past week, winning at home against University of Redlands on Sept. 20 and on the road
midweek at Occidental College to remain undefeated in SCIAC play. P-P (5-2, 3-0 SCIAC)
got their conference season off to a good start last week in a home opener
against University of La Verne, easing into a 2-0 triumph.
After some slightly
up-and-down preseason results, the real question was whether the Sagehens would
be able to sustain more consistent winning momentum. The Redlands Bulldogs came to P-P
having also won their SCIAC opening game, and the home team knew it would be
far from straightforward.
Few, however, would have predicted
the flurry of action that took place within the game’s first nine minutes. P-P drove the game forward from the beginning, scoring
in just the seventh minute. Midfield orchestrator Nicole Quilliam PO ’15 and
dynamic first-year forward Abby Gold PO ’18 exchanged quick one-touch passes in
the box, with moves from Gold in the six yard box to prod a goal home. The strike was already the third goal of the season
for Gold, who has made a fast start to her P-P career.
After taking an early
lead, the opportunity was there for the Sagehens to potentially exert a tighter
grip on the game. However, the 1-0 advantage lasted only a matter of seconds
for the home team. A long ball out of defense from Redlands made its way to
Bulldogs winger Erin Lau, who ran in behind the P-P defense before squaring a
good cross for fellow midfielder Kate Frame to net a goal.
Incredibly, the early
action wasn’t done there. The Bulldogs themselves were only able to stay on
level terms for some 60 seconds after Frame’s goal. Sofia Barsher PZ ’18 found
herself within close range the Redlands goal, and was able to provide a good effort. While Redlands keeper Lexi Felix made a good save to keep out the first attempt, the ever-alert
Quilliam was the first to react to the rebound and stuck the ball into the
unguarded net to restore the home team’s lead.
After such a rush
of early action, the game hit a bit of a lull for most of the rest of
the half, with neither team finding chances to take serious attempts on the goal. The
closest either side came to a fourth goal of the match was in the 33rd
minute, when P-P GK Annie Wedel PO ’16 had to be at her best to smother
Redlands’ Lihini Weerasinghe on the breakaway. Weerasinghe’s shot still nearly
trickled over the goal line, but the Sagehens defense was alert enough to clear it to
P-P finally put the result beyond doubt in the 53rd minute,
after another piece of good team passing play in the Redlands penalty area.
Gold squared from the channel to fellow forward Danika Bethune PO ’17, who, in
turn, flicked it on to a charging Quilliam, finishing past Felix to grab
her second of the game. From then on, P-P applied the brakes,
keeping Redlands at bay to see out the 3-1 win with relative ease in the second
The Sagehens took their two-game
SCIAC winning streak to Occidental on Sept. 24, but found the hosts in
fighting spirit. The Tigers were on top for most of the first half, drawing
five saves out of Wedel, who was much busier than in the team’s previous game. For all of
Occidental’s efforts, however, it was still P-P who took the crucial lead with an unassisted goal from fullback Jamie Kerester PO ’17 in the 44th minute.
With the one-goal
advantage to defend, the Sagehens played a more muted second half, focusing on
blunting the threat of Occidental, who only tested Wedel once after halftime.
Closing out the win in relative comfort, P-P increased their SCIAC winning streak to
three games, putting the team in a strong position for their next game against California Lutheran University on Saturday, Sept. 27.