CLAREMONT, Calif. – On a hot and sunny Sunday afternoon the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's soccer team scored four second-half goals en route to a 5-1 victory over the UC Santa Cruz Banana Slugs. The Athenas got on the board first with a goal in the eighth minute off the foot of Sydney Smith (CMC), but Santa Cruz tied the match in the 26th minute.
The score remained even until the opening touch of the second-half when Megan Lo (CMC) collected a loose ball and arched a shot over the goalie just 15 seconds into the second-half to break the 1-1 tie. Lo's goal was a sign of things to come, as Rhiann Holman (CMC) scored in the 53rd minute and Sarah Malott (CMC) put the finishing touches on the 5-1 victory with a pair of goals in the 86th and 89th minutes.
The five goals for the Athenas are their most in a game since they connected for six goals against Saint Katherine on Oct. 9, 2016.
Sydney Smith's goal in the eighth minute was the first quality chance for either team. While the Banana Slugs did have an opportunity in the sixth minute, their shot from distance sailed wide. Smith held the ball at the top of the box and ripped a shot with her right root that was initially saved. The rebound came right back to her and Smith's sent a second attempt toward to frame. This shot was more of a chip that got over top of the keeper and found to back of the net to put the Athenas up 1-0 in the early going.
The Banana Slugs had an excellent opportunity to even the score with a corner kick just eight minutes later, but a shot from Claire Lim went wide. In the 26th minute a controversial call gave Santa Cruz another great opportunity. On the Athenas' side of midfield, a contested header left an Athena and a Banana Slug on the turf. After a brief injury timeout, Santa Cruz was awarded a free kick. Joelle Steichen found Olivia Stewart at the top of the six for the one-time touch past the keeper. The goal evened the score at 1-1 midway through the first-half.
The score would remain level through the half, but just seconds after the break Megan Lo would strike. At the top of the box, just slightly to the right-side, Lo would find the ball at her feet after a defender poked it out of a scrum in the center of the box. Lo chipped the ball over top of the keeper from 16-yards out to give CMS a 2-1 lead.
Just seven minutes later Rhiann Holman would find the back of the net for the second time on the season. In a similar situation to Lo's goal, the Banana Slugs' defense attempted to clear the ball out of danger off the end line. The clear did not go nearly far enough as Holman ran onto the ball at the top of the box and ripped a shot that found the twine for the 3-1 lead.
CMS had opportunities to increase the 3-1 lead throughout the final 40 minutes, but were unable to do so until Sarah Malott connected in the 86th minute. Malott took a shot from the right-side that was initially blocked by a defender but came right back to her foot. Prior to her first shot being blocked, the Santa Cruz goalie dove to her left and as a result was out of position for Malott's second attempt that sailed through the goalmouth for her first tally of the season.
Malott wasted no time getting goal number two on the season on the board. Less than four minutes later Malott collected a loose ball at the top of the box and quickly took a shot for second goal on the season and match.
Malott's two tallies put an exclamation mark on the first victory of the season for the Athenas.
In the match, CMS outshot the Banana Slugs 16-5, including an 11-1 advantage after the half.
The Athenas will be back in action this Wednesday when they travel to La Verne to open SCIAC play against the Leopards. Game time is slated for 5:00 p.m.