CLAREMONT, Calif. – Senior day started and ended well for the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's lacrosse team as the members of the graduating class each made a notable impact in their 17-5 victory over Occidental College (11-5, 5-5) on Saturday afternoon. With the regular season in the books, this marks the first time since the 2010-11 season when the Athenas (14-1, 10-0) went undefeated in the SCIAC. Seniors Cara Cancelmo (CMC), Oona Pritchard (CMC), Zoe Pinczower (CMC), and Theresa Wechsler (CMC) were honored before the game for their contributions to the lacrosse program. At the first whistle, it was business as usual for the women as they battled hard against a resilient Occidental side for the win.
Cancelmo was excellent on both ends of the field, scoring three goals with seven draw controls and three caused turnovers, while her classmate Pinczower had one goal and helped open up the offense with her speed in the wing. Wechsler was reliable as always on the defensive end, breaking up the Tigers' offense and closing out the space on their possession. Sophomore Corie Hack (CMC) and junior Evan Murphy (CMC) also added three goals to the win.
The Tigers looked determine to give the Athenas a tough match, scoring immediately after winning the opening draw as Alessandra Pelliccia ran across the field and caught the Athenas off-guard with a solo chance at the net. CMS looked flustered as the Tigers denied the Athenas entry towards the net and threw the offense off-rhythm. However, with 14:43 remaining in the half, Ciara Byrne delivered a hard foul on freshman Allie Hill (CMC) and was shown the yellow card. Hill converted the free position goal to tie the game.
Head Coach Lauren Uhr called a substitution after the opening goal, bringing in freshman Hannah Graves (CMC) and saw the immediate impact as junior Lauren Clubb (CMC) found the net less than a minute later. Cancelmo scored 30 seconds after to give CMS a 3-1 lead before Occidental called a timeout. However, the Athenas did not miss a step after the timeout and continued to score. After spending most of her time making off-ball cuts towards the net and spreading out the defense with her speed, Graves was finally awarded for her efforts after eluding her defender for a quick goal. The Tigers started playing more physically, but the Athenas continued their hot run, scoring 8 more goals, including three off free-position shots to take a 12-1 lead at the half.
Freshman Emily Cohen (CMC) delivered a cross to Cancelmo, who then finished it with a quick release to open up the second half. The Tigers finally broke out their drought with 21:34 left in the game as Pelliccia finally got Occidental's second goal. Byrne followed three minutes later, but freshman Emma Johnson (SC) quickly put an end to the run after scoring off an assist from Clubb. Oxy later responded with two more goals, but there was not enough time for the visitors to muster a significant comeback.
The Athenas will head into the SCIAC Tournament as the No. 1 seed after finishing first in the regular season with an undefeated record in conference. They will host Redlands this Saturday, April 29 with the time to be determined. In their last two meetings this season, the Athenas have won both games, winning 13-3 the first time and 13-7 the second time.
By Young Kim
Sports Information Assistant
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