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Kelly McConnell and Sydney Thalmi (Photo by Mitch Allan)
Kelly McConnell and Sydney Thalmi (Photo by Mitch Allan)

Athenas run out of steam in NCAA Second Round

CLAREMONT, Calif. – After a narrow 1-0 victory over Pacific Lutheran yesterday, the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's soccer team ran out of steam against Pomona-Pitzer in the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament, losing 6-0.

Head coach Keri Sanchez was nothing but complimentary of her team: "This has been an incredible journey. We put together a tough schedule in preparation for the NCAA tournament and winning the game yesterday was really important. This was one step farther that these seniors got their freshman year and I'm so proud of them. Pomona-Pitzer is a strong team and we just did not have enough in the tank to make this game closer."

The last time CMS won an NCAA Tournament game was in 2009 with the 2-1 victory over UC Santa Cruz and then in 2013, the Athenas got back into the tournament as the automatic qualifier from the SCIAC but ended their season with the First Round loss to Hardin-Simmons.

The senior class of Makella Brems (CMC), Emily Cassell (CMC), Katelyn Faust (CMC), Amy Johnson (CMC), Laynee Laube (CMC) and Kelly McConnell (HMC) finish their career with a 50-29-9 record with the 17-6-1 record in 2016 as their best season.

In the game, Pomona-Pitzer scored early and often, leaving the Athenas without a chance to crawl back into the match. Danika Bethune beat the CMS defense and then went one-on-one with McConnell to score the first goal in the eighth minute.

Just eight minutes later, the Sagehens crashed the box sending in two hard shots by Bethune and Alyssa Kim. Both shots were deftly defended by the diving McConnell. The Athena keeper ended up with 10 saves on the day as PP out-shot CMS 21 to 7.

Pomona-Pitzer added two goals in quick succession in the 29th minute to push its lead up to 3-0 going into halftime. CMS had two shots on goal in the first 45 minutes by Faust and freshman Sarah Tocher (CMC), giving the Athenas hope going into the second half.

Kim and Bethune connected for PP's fourth goal just five minutes into the half and then added another six minutes later.

The only time the Athenas had scored more than five goals in a game this season was against Saint Katherine in the 6-2 victory on Oct. 12. The most CMS had managed against PP this season was two goals in their first meeting back on Sep. 14. Additionally, the Sagehens had shut out every opponent on their home field during the regular season, allowing the only two goals on their own turf yesterday against UC Santa Cruz.

Ultimately, it became clear the Athenas did not have the legs to rally a comeback, but they still fought valiantly until the bitter end.

CMS finishes the season with a 17-6-1 record, tallying the most wins in program history.

Box Score

By Emily Nordhoff
Sports Information Director

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