CMS Women's Soccer Kicks Off 2018 Campaign at Soka Friday Night

CMS Women's Soccer Kicks Off 2018 Campaign at Soka Friday Night

CLAREMONT, Calif. - The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's soccer team opens up its 2018 campaign when it travels to take on Soka on Friday night for a 6 p.m. contest.

The Athenas were picked to finish fourth in the SCIAC preseason coaches poll, which was released this morning. With their seven top scorers returning, along with starting goalie Claire Hamson (CMC '21), there is plenty of optimism that the program can take a big leap forward after missing the postseason a year ago. 

Hamson had an immediate impact in her freshman season, tallying an impressive .825 save percentage to go along with a 1.01 goals against average. Hayden Craig (SC '20) also earned a pair of starts last season to give the Athenas additional experience between the posts, while newcomers Rosey Sams (HMC '22) and Athena Manthoulli (SC '22) will give the program as much depth at the goalkeeper position as it has ever had. 

The defense will have a bit of a new look this year after the graduation of several of last year's primary contributors. Grace Pratt (CMC '21) and Sydney Talmi (CMC '19) are returning starters who will be asked to take on more of the leadership responsibilities defensively. Megan Lo (CMC '19) will be back in a starting role as well after scoring two goals last year and can play either as an outside back or an outside midfielder. Catherine Leon (CMC '19) played in every game last year, including eight starts, while Emily Kussick (CMC '21), Veronica Crow (SC '20), Ava McIlvaine (SC '21) and Lucy Mahoney (CMC '21) will have the chance to expand their roles this fall. 

The midfield is in strong shape heading into the new season, anchored by Rhiann Holman (CMC '20) and Sarah Malott (CMC '19). Holman led the team last year with five goals and three assists for 13 points, while Malott was right behind with five goals and an assist for 11 points. Katrina Ostrom (CMC '21), meanwhile, started in nine of the 10 games she appeared in as a freshman and showed the potential to be a significant contributor over the next three years. Despite only starting twice, Gabrielle Clouse (CMC '20) was the team's third leading scorer, consistently providing a boost off the bench for the Athenas, while Isabel Streiffer (SC '21) also played in every game off the bench, primarily in a defensive midfield role. 

Up front, Sarah Tocher (CMC '21) is returning to a starting role after tallying a goal and two assists last year and has the potential to be a breakout goal-scorer for the Athenas this fall. Aarthi Namasivayam, who played in every game and contributed two goals off the CMS bench in 2017, will look to continue to be a consistent contributor to the team's offensive unit, while Kira Favakeh (HMC '20) also played in every game last year and had a goal and an assist. Maddie Peterson (SC '19) and Allie Crum (SC '19) were regular contributors a season ago and give the Athenas a lot of experience in their forward rotation. 

Cal Lutheran was the coaches' preseason pick to finish in first place in the SCIAC with 80 points, followed by Pomona-Pitzer (71) in second and Redlands (58) in third. CMS (53) was chosen in the fourth spot, a key position since the top four teams qualify for the conference tournament, well ahead of Whittier (40) and Occidental (35) in fifth and sixth. La Verne (34), Chapman (25) and Caltech (9), which is in its first season competing in the league officially, round out the preseason poll.

After the short trip to Aliso Viejo to take on Soka on Friday, the Athenas will then jump right into SCIAC play, traveling to La Verne next Wednesday for a 7 p.m. contest. After a road trip to Missouri to face Washington University and Fontbonne, CMS will host its home opener on Wednesday, Sept. 12 against Sixth Street rival Pomona-Pitzer, beginning at 7 p.m.