CMS Women's Soccer Takes Down No. 17 Pomona-Pitzer 1-0

CMS Women's Soccer Takes Down No. 17 Pomona-Pitzer 1-0

CLAREMONT, Calif. - Junior forward Kira Favakeh scored off a through ball from junior midfielder Rhiann Holman in the 56th minute to give the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's soccer team a 1-0 win over No. 17 Pomona-Pitzer on Wednesday evening in its home opener at Pritzlaff Field.

With the win, the Athenas improve to 4-1 on the season and remain perfect in the SCIAC at 2-0. Pomona-Pitzer suffers its first loss of the season as it falls to 4-1 overall and 2-1 in league play. 

After an uneventful first half in which neither team generated many chances, the Athenas came out on their front foot in the second half and pinned the Sagehens back in their own end. Defenders Emily Kussick and Gabrielle Clouse had close misses off of corner kicks in the first 10 minutes of the second half, and Favakeh had a good chance in the middle of the box that was saved by Pomona-Pitzer goalkeeper Isa Berardo. 

CMS finally broke through, though, as Holman got the ball 45 yards from goal. Favakeh was sprinting up the right side moments earlier hoping to get a through ball in for a breakaway, but held up when the pass didn't come and stayed on-sides. That alertness proved to be crucial, as Holman played a diagonal ball to the right that led Favakeh towards goal. Favakeh got behind the defense and was able to finish with a hard shot from inside the box that deflected off Berardo's fingertips and in for her second goal of the year, both of which have been game-winners in SCIAC play (the first coming in overtime against La Verne, also on a Holman through ball). 

The Athenas had to withstand some late pressure to hold on for the 1-0 lead, but the defense held firm. Sophomore goalie Claire Hamson had four saves to get the shutout, and was able to secure the clean sheet as a shot in the final minute from Pomona-Pitzer's Anna Ponzio whistled by the left post. 

"It was a great team effort, good to get the win at home," said junior forward Sarah Tocher. "Kira had a great goal out there, and it was a great defensive effort from our back line.  We talked about this being like any other game, which obviously is easier said than done, but I think we kept our heads in there for the last 15 minutes. They were throwing a lot at us, but the defense held strong, we had a great crowd, and it was good to get the team win." 

Pomona-Pitzer finished with a narrow 11-8 edge in shots while each team had three corner kicks. Berardo had two saves for the Sagehens in the losing effort. 

CMS will be back in action on Saturday when it travels to take on Cal Lutheran for a 7 p.m. SCIAC contest.