Women's Soccer Playoff Bid Comes up Just Short with 1-0 Defeat to Occidental

Women's Soccer Playoff Bid Comes up Just Short with 1-0 Defeat to Occidental

CLAREMONT, Calif. - Occidental scored an early goal off a corner kick and then played tight defense the rest of the way as the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's soccer team fell 1-0 on Saturday evening at Pritzlaff Field to come up just short in its bid for a SCIAC Tournament berth.

The loss drops CMS to 8-5-4 on the year and 6-4-4 in SCIAC, leaving it out of the postseason picture. In order to qualify, the Athenas needed to pick up a win over Occidental, which improved to 7-2-4 in league play and clinched their postseason bid with the win. 

Occidental came into the contest having allowed only four goals all season and the task for the Athenas was made more difficult at the 13:55 mark when Nicole Castro scored for the Tigers. The play was set up by a corner kick, and sophomore goalie Claire Hamson came off her line to punch the ball out of a dangerous area at the top of the six. The deflection went to Castro 15 yards from goal, though, and she was able to pop a header into the air that went over the CMS defense covering the line and into the net to make the score 1-0. 

CMS wasn't able to break down the Occidental defense for most of the day, but managed to get a couple of dangerous chances at a tying goal in the second half. Senior midfielder Sarah Malott had a shot saved from inside the top of the penalty area in the 54th minute, and Occidental goalie Sydney Tomlinson was able to punch away a dangerous cross from junior midfielder Gabrielle Clouse.  

The last 20 minutes, though, saw Occidental make several strong bids at an insurance goal. Hamson had a pair of saves on shots from Dylan Wensley, and Karla Alas-Lopez missed just wide with a header. 

Hamson finished with four saves, while seeing her shutout streak snapped at four straight games. She ends her sophomore season with 11 shutouts on the year. Senior center backs Sydney Talmi and Catherine Leon, and senior outside back Megan Lo were a big part of that defensive success, and will need to be replaced next season. The Athenas will, however, return their leading scorers in junior midfielders Rhiann Holman and Kira Favakeh, as they try to get back in the SCIAC playoff picture next spring.