Athenas Outlast Hens in Overtime Thriller

The
latest rendition of the women’s lacrosse Sixth Street battle resulted in an 8-7
victory for the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Athenas (4-0) over the Pomona-Pitzer
Sagehens (3-1) Feb. 28. This win marked CMS’ first against P-P since April 17,
2013, but it did not come easily. After regulation ended with a 7-7 tie, the
Athenas scored in overtime for the 8-7 victory.

The
two teams were neck-and-neck for over half the contest, including a 3-3 tie
at halftime. Each team then scored a goal early in the second half to
keep the game tied, but the Athenas began to pull away as the game progressed, scoring
three consecutive goals to hold a 7-4 lead. The Sagehens mounted
the challenge over the last ten minutes of the game with goals from attacker
Rebecca Long PO ’17, midfielder Katie Savino PO ’16 and midfielder Grace Geller
PZ ’17 to tie the game, but they cut it quite close—Geller’s goal came with
just 1:16 left in regulation. 

After
goalkeeper Kate Anello CM ’16 stopped a last-ditch effort from P-P, the game
progressed to overtime. Just two minutes into the allotted time, midfielder
Cara Cancelmo CM ’17 scored on a free position goal, which became the eventual
game-winner as the Sagehens were unable to make up the difference in the
remainder of the overtime period.

“I was nervous going into the P-P game, but I knew our team
was capable of winning,” Cancelmo said. “We had worked really hard up
to that point, going over plays and getting in shape. All we had to do was
apply what we had worked on and listen to our coach in order to win.”

Midfielder/attacker
Hannah Christenson PO ’17 was proud of the way her team performed, but
thought they could have pushed themselves harder as a unit. 

“Our biggest
challenge is ourselves,” she said. “We haven’t been playing to our potential
the last couple of games, and that’s tricky to fix.”

The
players and coaches agree that their greatest strength as a team is their
cohesiveness and inclusionary style both on and off the field. However, this means
that the team’s success does not depend on one individual player, but the team
as a whole, which is harder to control.

“We’re
going to work on increasing and maintaining our energy and focus in games, because those intangibles make the biggest difference in performance,”
Christenson said. “The benefit of getting it right is that we are so much more
successful as a talented team than we are as talented individuals.

The next matchup for both teams is against SUNY New Paltz, who is traveling from New York to take on the two Claremont teams. The Athenas will play them March 15 at 11:00 am and then the Sagehens will challenge them March 17 at 11:00 am.

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