CLAREMONT, Calif. – The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's lacrosse team advanced to the SCIAC Final on Saturday afternoon after defeating the University of Redlands at home 17-6 in an otherwise gritty affair. Contrary to the final score, the match was physically taxing as both teams played extremely tough on the defensive end, with 50 turnovers combined between the two, and were fairly close until the second half. The Bulldogs (9-8, 4-6) were determined to deny the Athenas (15-1, 10-0) from finding any momentum but then the home team gathered its offensive rhythm for majority of the match.
Sophomore Corie Hack (CMC) was the star of the afternoon, scoring six goals with an assist, while freshman Emily Cohen (CMC) added five to her tally. Junior Katie Hill (CMC) had a strong performance on the defensive end, keeping the back line composed despite the pressure coming from the Bulldogs, and her little sister, freshman Allie Hill (CMC), made some key contributions with three goals and an assist.
The Bulldogs caught the Athenas by surprise in the opening minute with a swift goal by Hanna Morford less than two minutes into the game. Morford added another two minutes later on the counterattack to double the lead. The Athenas looked frustrated, unable to create open opportunities at goal due to the swarming Redlands' defense. Later with 21:56 remaining in the half, the Bulldogs converted their third goal off a free position shot.
CMS finally got on board 20 seconds later after senior Cara Cancelmo (CMC) found freshman Emma Johnson (CMC) in front of the net for the goal. Cohen brought the Athenas within one with 19:48 left in the half, and Hack later tied it up after an incredible solo effort in which she ran around the left side of the post, evaded two defenders and whipped a hard shot near the keeper's feet. The Athenas continued their streak after Cancelmo scored off a free position, and senior Zoe Pinczower (CMC) followed up with a one-touch shot off a cross from freshman Hannah Graves (CMC). The Athenas closed the half with a 6-3 lead.
Hack emerged as an offensive force in the second half, scoring two goals within four minutes to put CMS ahead, 8-4. After a goal by Cohen, junior Lauren Clubb (CMC) slipped a quick pass to the cutting Hack near the center of the net and the sophomore converted precisely to extend the lead 10-4. With 18:24 left in the game, Allie got involved with the offense and scored three straight before Hack added one more to put CMS ahead by 10. The Bulldogs managed to put two back during the final 10 minutes, but the gap was too wide to overcome as the Athenas held on to victory.
The Athenas will remain home on Saturday to host the SCIAC Final against the winner of tonight's game between Chapman University and Occidental College. The match will be played at 7 p.m.
By Young Kim
Sports Information Assistant
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