15 Saves, 12 Goals, P-P Slips Past Valiant CMS Goalkeeping

A graphic showing the starting lineup of a P-P women's lacrosse game.
Yujia Yao • The Student Life

As the rain poured down, Lilly Thomey PO ’19 sprinted down the middle of the lacrosse field. Two minutes were left until halftime; Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (9-3, 4-2 SCIAC) and Pomona-Pitzer (10-2, 5-1 SCIAC) were tied at 4-4 in their match on Saturday, Apr. 9.

Thomey wiped the rain from her eyes and called to her teammate, Sarah Markowitz PZ ’16, who held the ball at the top of the eight.

Glancing at the goal and noticing that the goalkeeper had stepped out, Thomey knew she had her chance.

“ [Markowitz] made a quick pass in,” she recalled. “I faked high [and] shot low.” The crowd erupted in cheers: The ball had found the net.

Though the Athenas had scored first only four minutes into the game, with a quick shot from Mikaela Connel CM ’18, the Hens continued to chase, not letting them get too far ahead. First, Aubrey Douglass PZ ’16 evened the score 1-1. Then, as Christina Coffin CM ’16 and Zoe Pinczower CM ’17 snuck past P-P goalkeeper Gaby Fukumura PO ’17, the Hens responded with three more from Markowitz and Rebecca Long PO ’17.

P-P and CMS left the field at halftime with a score of Hens 5, Athenas 4—likely less of a lead than the Hens had hoped. Out of 14 shots on goal, they’d only managed to score five, thanks to CMS defense and some excellent goalkeeping on the part of Kate Anello CM ’16. Anello, who had celebrated senior day before the game with the five other graduating Athenas, made a career-high 15 saves throughout the match.

“Each [save] is an adrenaline rush,” Anello commented when asked if she remembered a particularly intense moment. “One happens and all I am focused on is the next shot or play.”

She did admit, however, that upon watching recordings of games with her coach, she’ll see saves “that look really cool on film… and that is always exciting.”

Despite Anello’s stunning performance, however, the Sagehens took the field for the second half and, led by Douglass, netted seven more goals. Douglass scored four in the match for her fifth hat trick of the season, while Markowitz scored three for her seventh hat trick.

Thomey contributes that win, as well as much of P-P’s success this season, to versatility.

“Our defense plays hard defense but can also carry the ball very well; our offense plays fast offense but plays tough defense in the mid-field,” she remarked. “We can all fill different roles.”

The Athenas battled back with two in a row from Coffin and Corie Hack CM ’19, but couldn’t catch up as the game ended P-P 12, CMS 6.

For the post-season, both teams would, naturally, like to see a bid in the NCAA tournament. P-P is currently ranked second in SCIAC, behind Chapman University (11-2, 6-1 SCIAC), while CMS is ranked third.

The Hens play next at Occidental College (6-7, 0-6 SCIAC), while the Athenas will face SCIAC No. 1-ranked Chapman University.

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