CLAREMONT, Calif. – Saturday afternoon proved to be a major test for the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's lacrosse team (4-0) as they had to hold off a major four-goal rally from Chapman in the second half to come away with a 15-9 victory. Defense played a major factor for CMS, as the Athenas out-muscled the Panthers and caused 20 turnovers compared to Chapman's 11. Sophomore Corie Hack (CMC) demonstrated sharp focus on the possession game, collecting seven ground balls.
Senior Cara Cancelmo (CMC) and junior Evan Murphy (CMC) scored three goals each while freshman Allie Hill (CMC) had two goals and two assists. Kelsey Mackin led the Panthers with three goals while Stacey Zuppa had one goal and dished out three assists.
The Athenas drew first blood thanks to junior Lauren Clubb (CMC) who threw a hard bouncing shot at goal after receiving a pass from Hack. Murphy added another with a low shot towards the ground, but Chapman took one back after Mackin scored off a free position shot. CMS responded with a huge rally, scoring four straight goals to take a 6-1 lead with 10:42 left in the half.
However, the Panthers showed why they were considered one of the strongest teams in the SCIAC. After Leah Donnelly scored the Panthers' second goal, Kelsey Mackin found Becka Wachtel off the draw control. Wachtel hurled a quick pass to the racing Zuppa towards the net and Zuppa cut the lead in the half, making it 6-3. Wachtel added another with 2:51 left in the half, but Hill managed to stop Chapman's streak with a goal in the middle of traffic to make it 7-4 at halftime.
The Panthers opened the second half with a 4-0 run to take the lead, applying high pressure on the ball carrier and generating offense off the counterattack. CMS subbed in a couple fresh legs onto the field and tied the game back thanks to a well-taken shot from Clubb. Mackin briefly took back the lead for Chapman, but with 13:03 left in the game, freshman Hannah Graves (CMC) tied it back after launching a shot around the keeper off a free position attempt.
The Athenas played the possession game quite calmly, keeping composure in front of the Panthers' high pressure. The offense did an excellent job moving the ball and recovering possession, leading to a 6-0 run to close the game. Hack scored on a brilliant solo effort during that run with 5:42 left and followed up with a whirling effort after taking a pass from Murphy to make it 13-9. With 3:32 left in the game, Cancelmo received a pass from the left side of the net and caught the goalie out of position. The senior raced towards the net and dropped the ball in for the dagger.
The Athenas will head to the East Coast for a three-game road trip, starting with a game against Connecticut College on Tuesday, Mar. 14 at 1:30 p.m. EST.
By Young Kim
Sports Information Assistant
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