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Athenas deliver upset over undefeated Cal Lutheran

Athenas deliver upset over undefeated Cal Lutheran

CLAREMONT, Calif. – The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's soccer team snapped their losing streak in spectacular fashion with an upset 1-0 victory over No. 17 Cal Lutheran (5-1-0, 1-1-0). The Athenas (3-4-0, 1-1-0) looked fearless out the gates, and managed to play in tempo to hand the Regals their first loss of the season. Senior Laynee Laube (CMC) scored the lone goal, her third of the season, while senior Kelly McConnell (HMC) kept the Athenas alive with 10 saves, earning her third shutout of the season.

The Athenas looked sharp at the start of the whistle, containing the Regals' offense and making sharp passes down the field. In the 11th minute, sophomore Sydney Talmi (CMC) found space from the right wing and delivered a cross into the box to an open Laube. Unfortunately, the ball sailed right above her head as she failed to connect on a potential header.  

Four minutes later, the Athenas got on the scoresheet off a well-played counterattack. After breaking up the Cal Lutheran offense, senior Amy Johnson (CMC) fed the ball to freshman Sarah Tocher (CMC) who preceded to bolt up the open space in the middle of the field. She slipped a perfect through ball to a racing Laube in the box who then drilled the shot past the keeper to give CMS the lead.

The Athenas nearly doubled their lead in the 20th minute, when Laube hit a brilliant low cross to the box. Tocher played the dummy to throw off the defense and the ball rolled in front of sophomore Sarah Malott (CMC). Malott teed off in front of the open net, but missed the opportunity as it sailed above the crossbar.

The Regals nearly equalized in the 39th minute when Tessa Dwyer delivered a low cross to the box. The CMS defense misread the pass and the ball rolled to an open Nikole Prelooker who was at the edge of the box, but her shot went left for a goal kick.

In the dying minutes of the first half, Prelooker almost levelled again when she received a through pass at the edge of the box. McConnell ran out her spot and closed the angle, blocking the shot with her legs. The deflection went to a trailing CLU player as the defenders closed in to clear the ball out. The players scrummed to regain possession, and the defense barely won out and cleared the ball to end the half.  

Malott thought she doubled the lead in the 53rd minute when Laube found her with a pinpoint cross from the right wing. Malott headed the ball cleanly past the diving keeper, but the celebration was short-lived as the referee called her offside.

Sophomore Megan Lo (CMC) nearly created the second goal for CMS in the 71st minute when she got past her defender at the left wing. Lo delivered an open cross to Laube who was running to the box, but her header merely bounced into the keeper's hands.  

The Regals nearly scored the game-tying goal again in the 80th minute when Jackie Albers received a cross in the Athenas' box and readied herself for a volley two feet from the net. However, McConnell was in perfect position to save the ball with ease.  

"I thought it was a good effort. It was important for us to rebound after that tough loss," said head coach Keri Sanchez. "I knew we had the talent to hang with them. Cal Lutheran plays very tough and physical. They have very athletic players. But I knew if we played to maintain possession, we could take the game from them."

The CMS women's soccer team will look to even out their record and get their second win in conference play on Sept. 21 as they hit the road to face Occidental at 7:00 p.m.

By Young Kim
Sports Information Assistant

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