The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women’s soccer team (1–2–0) dominated the field Saturday, Sept. 10, securing their first win of the season in a spectacular 5-1 win over the University of California, Santa Cruz Banana Slugs (1-5-0). The Athenas were polished on offense, with midfielder Sarah Malott CM ’19 firing two goals in her second multi-goal career game with the Athenas.
With firm defensive positioning, the Athenas controlled the ball from the start of the match. They jumped out to a fast start and opened up the scoring in the eighth minute, when Sydney Smith CM ’18 rebounded her own kick with a chip over the Banana Slugs’ keeper.
However, UCSC responded well to the goal, and they started to make runs into the Athenas’ territory. By the 25th minute, they capitalized on a CMS foul and tied the match when UCSC defender Joelle Steichen rocketed a free kick into the box and forward Olivia Stewart tipped it into the net.
After the goal, the Athena defenders regained their strength and stifled any UCSC attempts at attack, but their offense still did not not make headway against the Banana Slugs’ goalkeeper. The teams headed into halftime deadlocked at 1–1.
After the second half whistle blew, CMS set a new tone for the game: Megan Lo CM ’19 took advantage of UCSC’s defensive mistakes to win the ball from the goalkeeper and put the Athenas in front just 15 seconds into the half. Following the momentum, CMS launched itself offensively.
At the 52nd minute, Rhiann Holman CM ’20 blasted the ball from outside the box to score CMS’s third goal. This lead would prove to be more than enough for a CMS victory.
Given the extreme heat and a two goal advantage, CMS calmly paced the rest of the game, controlling possession and limiting the Banana Slugs’ attempts at attack.
However, the Athenas weren’t finished scoring yet. At the 81st minute, midfielder Sarah Malott CM ’19, coming from the bench, took advantage of a rebound inside the penalty box and put it into the open net, making the game 4–1. Looking to secure the upset, Malott continued to push the ball forward, and she scored CMS’s fifth and final goal in the dying minutes of the game.
By the time the final whistle blew, the Athenas had convincingly defeated the Banana Slugs 5–1.