CLAREMONT, Calif. – In a match that mattered most to the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's soccer team this season, the Athenas (16-5-1, 11-2-1) controlled the contest from start to finish, putting away Chapman University (9-9-2, 6-7-2) in an impressive 4-0 victory. It was the best game the Athenas played all season, tying their highest scoring margin of the season (5-1 against Chapman on Oct. 5) and maintaining a clean sheet. The team's sublime performance started with senior Amy Johnson (CMC) and freshman Rhiann Holman (CMC), who put in a superb shift at midfield. The two did an outstanding job controlling possession and making timely switches on offense and defense. Johnson also scored a goal, as did senior Laynee Laube (CMC) who scored a brace and junior Wren Osler (SC). Bailee Cochran seemingly gave the Athenas some trouble with her speed and athleticism, leading the Panthers with two shots, but the CMS defenders managed to keep her contained throughout the match.
The Athenas wasted no time getting on board, scoring in the fifth minute. Osler connected Laube's corner kick with her head and saw her shot whiz past the diving keeper to give CMS the 1-0 lead.
Cochran tried to answer back in the 16th minute after shaking the defense loose and clipping an open shot from outside the box, but her attempt sailed wide right.
It was not until the 20th minute when Laube went on a solo run, speeding past her markers in the right wing. Without hesitation, the senior turned and dribbled to the right edge of the box and fired a shot past the keeper to double the lead. Her unassisted goal was her 10th of the season, making her the first Athena since Laura Hagen in 2009 to score in double digits in a season.
Head Coach Keri Sanchez had no plans of slowing down during the second half, and made sure the team maintained their rhythm coming in. Sophomore Sarah Malott (CMC) ensured the game was put away in the 62nd minute with a well-placed through pass in Laube's direction. The senior broke past two defenders in traffic to win the ball and play one-on-one against the keeper. With unvexing composure, Laube drilled the shot past the goalie to make it 3-0.
Chapman fought hard to stay in the game, and in the 70th minute they almost did. Cochran dribbled into the left side of the box and managed to slip a shot past the diving goalie. However, Osler ran from the edge of the box and managed to clear the ball away inches before it crossed the line.
Despite the comfortable lead, CMS was still not done. In the 73rd minute, Amy Johnson whipped a screamer off a free kick from 30 yards. The ball deflected off a defender's head and sailed to the right side of the net, as the bench erupted in celebration. All the fans and players rose in applause as it was the senior's first goal of her CMScareer.
With the victory, the Athenas have secured a spot in the NCAA Division III tournament. Their seeding and placement in the tournament will be announced on the NCAA selection show at 10:30 am through their official website.
By Young Kim
Sports Information Assistant