Athenas Dominate Sagehens, Win 2018 SCIAC Tournament Title

Women'a Lacrosse celebrates the 2018 SCIAC Tournament Championship. (photo credit: Chris Spells)
Women'a Lacrosse celebrates the 2018 SCIAC Tournament Championship. (photo credit: Chris Spells)

CLAREMONT, Calif. – The wins just keep on coming for the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's lacrosse team. On a hot Saturday afternoon, the Athenas added the 2018 SCIAC Tournament Championship to their collection with a 17-5 victory over the Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens on Zinda Field. With the victory, CMS claims their second-straight SCIAC Tournament Title and extends their winning streak to 18-straight games.

Hannah Graves (CMC) led the offense with five goals on the afternoon and Evan Murphy (CMC) was named Tournament MVP after strong all around games, including two goals, an assist, six ground balls, three caused turnovers, and three draw controls on Saturday.

While the SCIAC Tournament Title does not guarantee the Athenas a bid to the NCAA Tournament, things are looking good for CMS as they are currently ranked No. 22 in the nation and No. 1 in the west region. The Athenas will learn of their fate on Sunday night at 7:00 p.m. on the NCAA Division III selection show.

CMS jumped out to an early, 11-0 lead in the first-half of Saturday's game to burry the Sagehens en route to their second-straight SCIAC Tournament Title. Hannah Graves was the story for the Athenas in the early going with five goals during that 11-0 start to the game. Sally Abel (CMC) and Allie Hill (CMC) got the scoring started for CMS before Graves netted her first goal of the contest off an assist from Allie Hill. Corie Hack (CMC) then tallied on a free position shot to make it a 4-0 lead nine minutes into the game.

Allie Hill found Graves again, making it 5-0 with 19:50 left in the opening half. The goal from Graves started a three-minute stretch that saw Graves score three-straight goals for the Athenas. The final goal of the stretch may have been her prettiest of the day. After picking up a ground ball on a failed clear attempt by the Sagehens, Graves worked her way to the right-side of the cage before spinning to her right to elude her defender. Her shot immediately following the spin beat the goalie and CMS took a 7-0 lead with over 16 minutes remaining in the first period.

The scoring continued for the Athenas with back-to-back goals by Sally Carlson (CMC). Evan Murphy assisted on the first of Carlson's two tallies before Allie Hill found Carlson for the second. With 13:43 left in the half, Evan Murphy put through the 10th goal of the afternoon for the Athenas and started the running clock for the remainder of the game. Graves scored her final goal of the game just over a minute and a half after Murphy's tally to make it an 11-0 lead, before the Sagehens got on the board with a goal from Kate Immergluck.

Sally Abel ended the half with a goal to put CMS up 12-1 at the break.

In the first-half, CMS held a 20-3 advantage in shots despite draw controls being even at 7-7 in the first 30 minutes.

While the second-half was a much more level battle, with CMS adding five goals and the Sagehens scoring four, the Athenas' first-half lead was more than enough to hold on for the Tournament Championship.

The Athenas had four different goal scorers in the second-half, with Murphy, Julia Mueller (SC), and Maddie Geary (CMC) each netting one goal and Allie Hill striking twice, including one as the final horn sounded.

Along with Graves' five goals, Allie Hill scored three goals and added three assists for a game-high six points.

Between the pipes, Anna Gillespie (SC) made a pair of saves while improving to 13-0 on the season.

Be sure to check on Sunday night to see what the future holds for the Athenas in the NCAA Tournament.