Hens Battle for Playoff Contention

Over what was a relaxing fall break for most 5C students, enjoying their reprieve from schoolwork and midterms, the Pomona-Pitzer women’s soccer team (8-7, 6-5 SCIAC) was fiercely battling to obtain a playoff spot in the fast-approaching month of November. Sadly, their efforts came up short as they dropped back-to-back contests against the University of Redlands and Occidental College by a one-goal difference in each game.

The loss against the Tigers (6-6-2, 5-4-2 SCIAC) on Wednesday, Oct. 21 has come as the third game that the Hens have dropped in their last four matches. Yet, the team has been here before; it was in a similar situation when it lost three games in succession in mid-September. Yet after that losing streak, the Sagehens rallied and went on to win six games in a row, terrorizing division opponents in the SCIAC conference, scoring twenty-three goals and holding their opponents to scoring no more than three goals per contest.

On Saturday, Oct. 17, the Sagehens travelled to take on the league-leading Redlands Bulldogs (8-3-2, 7-3-1 SCIAC). P-P put up a good fight on the road, but came up short in the end. The game started off back-and-forth as the two teams peppered each other with an even number of shots. By the end of the match, the Bulldogs took eleven shots and the Sagehens took ten.

It was only when Redlands’ Savannah Laursen scored early in the first half in the 17th minute from a free kick that either team was able to find the back of the net. This would be the only goal of the game.

Looking ahead to their next fixture on the road against Occidental, P-P was seeking redemption after suffering a close loss to the Bulldogs, in an effort to maintain its position in second place in the SCIAC. Yet this second road match did not end pleasantly for the Hens, as it only took the Tigers 111 seconds to find the back of the net and take the lead.

From there, the Tigers scored again in the first half, presenting P-P with a 2-0 deficit going into halftime. Eventually, in the 77th minute, P-P scored as forward Danika Bethune PO '17 gave the Sagehens a glimmer of hope, bringing the score to 2-1. Sadly, this wasn't enough to overcome the Tigers' defense as they held onto to the lead while P-P unsuccessfully attempted to equalize in the last ten minutes.

This is the third consecutive loss that the Hens have endured, and they find themselves in third place with both California Lutheran University (6-7-2, 5-4-2 SCIAC) and Occidental close on their heels, only one point behind. With three matches left in the regular season, it is do-or-die for the Hens. Just as they found their form in September, they need to rally now if they want to get a playoff berth.

The Sagehens’ remaining three fixtures are against Chapman University (5-10-1, 1-9-1 SCIAC), the University of La Verne (6-7-2, 4-6-1 SCIAC) and California Lutheran University, all of which are teams that they have bested earlier this season. These next three contests are highly winnable for the Sagehens if they can step up to the moment.

Kickoff against La Verne is at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 24 at home. This is the last home fixture of the season for the Hens, so come out and cheer your P-P women’s soccer team onto victory as they fight for playoff contention!

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