Seniors lead Athenas to win in home finale

CLAREMONT, Calif. – It was a spectacular Senior Day at Pritzlaff Field for the 2015 Athenas, who captured a 2-0 shutout victory over Occidental thanks to key contributions from the senior players.

The graduating members of the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's soccer team were celebrated with a pre-game ceremony.  

Defender Megan Patterson (CMC) played in 44 games throughout her Athena career and has been a solid presence on the back-end for CMS.

Forward Darrah Shields (CMC) had 13 goals and 12 assists through 59 games played and showed a real knack for coming through with clutch goals in big games.

In her four years playing for the Athenas, defender Laura Hayward (CMC) saw the field in 75 games (starting all but six), the highest total of any active CMS women's soccer player.

Midfielder/defender Kelsey Heflin (CMC) notched her first career goal today against Oxy, a big one as it turned out to be the game-winner. Heflin played in 47 matches for the Athenas and started 17 out of 18 this season.

Early on in the match, Occidental controlled the flow and had several shots attempted toward the goal.

Speedy forward Michaela Tsuha accounted for four of those shots, including a wide-positioned attempt that forced junior goalkeeper Kelly McConnell (HMC) to make a sprawling save on a ball directed across the crease.

The Tigers outshot the Athenas 7-2 through the first 20, but the CMS seniors took over control and turned the tide of the game.

Shields placed a perfect corner to Heflin in the 40th minute, and Heflin sent a hard header on target to the far side. Oxy goalkeeper Dallas Gunny attempted to zip across the goal, but Heflin's re-direction beat her for a 1-0 Athena lead.

With three minutes remaining in the half, midfielder Mia Siracusa (SCR) found herself wide open near the left side of the box but sent a hard curving shot just high and wide of the top corner.

As the second half began, Oxy had a chance off a lob pass played near the crease. Tsuha battled to gain possession but defender Jacey Coniff (HMC) used solid positioning and defensive awareness to beat Tsuha to the loose ball and clear it, diffusing the potential scoring situation. It was one of many solid defensive plays for the Athenas as they only allowed two total attempts to get through to McConnell.

Shields also added her name into the scorer's column on Senior Day, as she fought to get open in front the goal and successfully beat the goalkeeper on a one-timed a low cross from Margaret Loncki in the 78th minute.

Oxy had a few opportunities to score as time expired, including a header sent just wide by Alana Hillman but the Athenas held on for the 2-0 win.

It was the second time CMS has shutout Occidental this season, with the previous match on Sept. 30 ending in a 0-0 draw.

The 10-5-3 (7-3-2 SCIAC) Athenas have two matches remaining on their 2015 regular season schedule, Oct. 28 at Chapman and Oct. 31 at Whittier.

CMS remains in second place in the conference, two points behind Redlands for first and two points in front of third place Pomona-Pitzer.

By Tony Steege
Sports Information Assistant

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