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Holly Shankle with one of her nine saves to lead the CMS comeback
Holly Shankle with one of her nine saves to lead the CMS comeback

Valiant Comeback Ends One Goal Short as CMS Women's Lacrosse Falls 13-12 in SCIAC Finals

CLAREMONT, Calif. - The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's lacrosse team trailed 7-0 just 10 minutes into the game, and was down 11-3 in the second quarter, before ending up on the short end of a 13-12 final score to No. 17 Pomona-Pitzer in the SCIAC Postseason Tournament finals on Saturday evening.

With the loss, CMS slips to 13-5 and will await a possible at-large berth to the NCAA Division III Championships, when they are announced on Monday. Pomona-Pitzer moves to 19-1 with the win and earns the league's automatic bid. 

Holly Shankle came on in relief and had nine saves in goal, helping to hold the Sagehens to only one goal in the entire second half, including scoreless over the final 23:38. CMS got all the way to within 13-12 at the end of the third quarter, but neither team could find the net in the fourth, as the margin remained just one goal over the entire last 15 minutes. 

Emme McMullen had four goals for the Athenas, while Bella Lynch, Catherine Murphy and Taylor Daetz each had two goals. 

Cate Lewison got the scoring started for CMS with 4:43 left in the first quarter, cutting the lead to 7-1. Lynch and Daetz had first-quarter goals to make it 9-3 heading into the second, and the Sagehens scored the first two goals of the second quarter to make it 11-3 with 10:56 left in the half. 

CMS, though, would hold Pomona-Pitzer to just two goals the rest of the way, as it almost came all the way back, with the defensive work of Chloe Klein, Jessica Sloan-Cooper, Grace Johnson, and Emma Merk holding strong in front of Shankle.

McMullen had two goals in a 5-0 CMS run that closed the deficit to 11-8, before the Sagehens scored the final goal of the half. Grace Minturn started the second half with a goal, which was answered by Fiona Lewis with 8:38 left in the third to make it 13-9. Catherine Murphy, McMullen, and Daetz all scored free position shots to close it to 13-12 with 52 seconds left in the third. 

The Athenas were 7-of-12 on free position shots for the game, while Pomona-Pitzer was just 1-for-9.  Griffis led CMS with three caused turnovers, while Lewison had six ground balls. 

CMS will hope to earn a bid to the NCAA Championships when they are announced on Monday. The Athenas were in a similar position last year, and earned the bid, which resulted in a win over George Fox in the opening round.