Women's Soccer Picks Up Valuable Point, Ties Whittier 0-0 on Senior Day

Women's Soccer Picks Up Valuable Point, Ties Whittier 0-0 on Senior Day

CLAREMONT, Calif. - The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's soccer played to its third straight scoreless tie, but picked up an important point for its SCIAC playoff hopes as it finished in a 0-0 draw with Whittier on Saturday night at Pritzlaff Field.

The tie moves CMS to 7-4-4 overall and 5-3-4 in SCIAC, but that one point gives the Athenas 19 in league play (for five wins and four ties) and moves it within three of Occidental (6-2-4). CMS thus still controls its own destiny for its postseason hopes, as a win at Redlands on Wednesday coupled with a win at home against Occidental on Saturday (7 p.m.) would tie the Athenas with the Panthers for the fourth and final playoff spot, and CMS would have the tiebreaker due to a win and a tie head-to-head. Whittier moves to 5-4-5 overall and 4-3-4 in SCIAC with the tie. 

Prior to the game, the Athenas honored their seven seniors as part of their Senior Day celebration, including six who were in the starting lineup: Allie Crum and Maddie Peterson at forward, Sarah Malott in the midfield, and Megan Lo, Sydney Talmi and Catherine Leon on the defensive back four, as well as former player and current student assistant Remi Edwards. The defensive group helped the Athenas to their tenth shutout of the season, with sophomore goalie Claire Hamson credited with all 10, including a six-save clean sheet this evening against Whittier. 

Both teams had quality chances to win the game in overtime. The Athenas started out the extra session on their front foot, with Emily Kussick driving a ball from the top of the 18 that forced Whittier goalie Vanessa Martinez into a diving save for a corner kick. Junior forward Sarah Tocher had her header from the top of the six-yard box go just high, and junior midfielder Rhiann Holman had a shot sail high moments later. Whittier's Clarissa Field then forced Hamson into a diving save at the other end for a corner kick, and Hamson was called into action to make another save on Analisa Murillo's shot for another corner. 

After the Athenas survived that flurry of action, they nearly had a chance to end the game at the end of the first overtime, but Holman's one-timer from 10 yards out was saved by Martinez. The second overtime was a little bit less frantic, as Hamson made one save on a header off a corner kick, and Martinez made one in the final seconds on a long-distance shot from Tocher. 

Whittier had its best chance early in the second half, as Miranda Yzabal hit the crossbar from 30 yards out, and Joey Wescott missed wide just 13 seconds later. However, after Whittier took the first three shots of the second half, CMS dominated through the rest of regulation, outshooting Whittier 11-2 over the final 35 minutes, but the Athenas were unable to break into the scoring column. 

The Athenas finished with a 21-13 edge in shots overall for the game, with Holman leading the way with five, and Tocher and sophomore midfielder Katrina Ostrom each tallying four. Martinez finished with seven games to get the shutout for the Poets. 

CMS will be back in action on Wednesday for a must-win game at Redlands as it tries to qualify for the conference tournament. Occidental plays at winless Caltech, and if the Tigers win, the Athenas will need to match them to stay within range of catching them in Saturday's finale.