CLAREMONT, Calif. – The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's soccer program (16-5-1) brace for battle when they open up the first round of the NCAA Tournament against No. 24 Pacific Lutheran (16-0-4) on Saturday afternoon. The two teams will clash on Nov. 12, 1:30 pm at Pomona-Pitzer where the regional round of the NCAA Tournament will be hosted.
After finishing in second place in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference with an 11-2-1 record, CMS clinched their NCAA Tournament spot by winning the SCIAC Tournament, defeating Cal Lutheran 3-2 in an overtime thriller followed by a dominating 4-0 victory over Chapman. The seniors played key roles in the Athenas' strong tournament run, as Laynee Laube (CMC) was in fiery form, scoring three goals and an assist the last two games. Amy Johnson (CMC) didn't lose a step from the regular season, providing a looming presence in the midfield that CMS always counted on, while goalie Kelly McConnell (HMC) stayed alert and communicated with the defense to provide tight-knit presence in the defensive half.
Pacific Lutheran had an unforgettable season, going undefeated in the regular season for the first time in program history and being ranked 24th in the nation by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. The Lutes secured their spot in the tournament after taking first place in Northwest Conference for the first time since 1992.
The Lutes have consistently controlled both sides of the field, outscoring their opponents 48-6 in the regular season with their most talented squad to date. The team features 11 different players who scored more than once, including Machaela Graddy who leads the team and NWC with 13 goals this season in addition to eight assists. Defender Lena Moreno has a team-high nine assists, and combined with Kelly White in helping the Lutes record 14 shutouts this season.
The two teams last faced off in during the 2014 regular season, in which the Athenas won 1-0. CMS holds an advantage in terms of NCAA Tournament experience, as six of their seniors were members of the team that entered the 2013 tournament. For the Lutes, this year will mark the first time they entered the NCAA Tournament and will be their first postseason appearance since 1992 when they entered the NAIA National Tournament.
The winner of this game will face the winner between No. 17 Pomona-Pitzer (14-0-2) and UC Santa Cruz (6-10-1). The Sagehens entered the tournament through an at-large bid after taking first place in the SCIAC conference while the Banana Slugs got chosen after performing better than any other independent institution this season, going 5-4 against Division III schools.
REGIONAL SITE: Pomona-Pitzer Soccer Stadium
FIRST ROUND DATE AND TIME: Nov. 12th PP vs UCSC @ 11 AM/ CMS vs PLU @ 1:30 PM
SECOND ROUND DATE AND TIME: Nov. 13th @ 1 PM
FIELD LOCATION: Map
TICKET PRICES: This will be a ticketed event. Tickets will be sold at the east entrance to the field.
$2 Youth (3-12)
Free under 2 years old
PARKING: Parking for fans and visitors will be available at the South Campus Parking Structure located at 295 E. First Street. Parking is free and a permit is not required.
TOURNAMENT QUICK FACTS
2015 Tournament Winner: Williams College (def. Washington-St. Louis 1-0)
CMS NCAA Tournament Appearances: 2002, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2013, 2016
CMS NCAA Tournament Record: 2-5-1
Last NCAA Tournament Victory: 2009 - First Round (def. UC Santa Cruz 2-1)
CMS Best Tournament Result: 2008 - Third Round
1st Round def. Hardin-Simmons 5-4 PK's
2nd Round def. UC Santa Cruz 4-0
3rd Round loss to Carleton College 1-0
By Young Kim
Sports Information Assistant