CMS Women's Soccer Drops Hard-Fought 1-0 Decision to No. 8 Pomona-Pitzer

Sarah Tocher battles for the ball in offensive third against Pomona-Pitzer (photo by Tessa Guerra)
Sarah Tocher battles for the ball in offensive third against Pomona-Pitzer (photo by Tessa Guerra)

CLAREMONT, Calif. - The No. 8 Pomona-Pitzer women's soccer team scored an early goal in the 12th minute and it held up the rest of the way as the Sagehens won the first installment of this year's Sixth Street Rivalry over Claremont-Mudd-Scripps by a 1-0 final on Wednesday evening at Pritzlaff Field.

With the win, the Sagehens stay undefeated at 10-0-1 on the year and 6-0 in the SCIAC, while CMS slips to 6-2-3 overall and 2-2-2 in league play. 

The game-winning goal was a bit of an unlucky break for the Athenas as Ciannah Correa played a long ball out of the back that found Bria VarnBuhler racing in behind the defense just inside the top of the 18-yard box. VarnBuhler and CMS goalkeeper Athena Manthouli arrived at the same time, and the ball took a deflection off VarnBuhler's leg and rolled into the vacated net at the 11:09 mark to give the Sagehens a 1-0 lead. 

CMS nearly found an equalizer from long range five minutes later, as senior forward Kira Favakeh took a shot from 30 yards out that had Pomona-Pitzer goalkeeper Isa Berardo backpedaling, but the shot hit off the crossbar and caromed over for a goal kick. 

Pomona-Pitzer also had a near-goal in the first half just four minutes after Favakeh hit the woodwork, as Chloe Hamer hit the right post and had the ball ricochet inside the six before the Athenas were able to safely clear it away. 

CMS was able to put Pomona-Pitzer under some pressure in the closing minutes looking for an equalizer. Freshman midfielder Mia Duranczyk had an 18-yard shot that appeared destined for the lower-left corner in the 79th minute, but Berardo came up with their best save of the night with a diving stop. Favakeh then got on the back end of a cross in the 84th minute that deflected over the crossbar, and Duranczyk had a shot off the ensuing corner kick that was also deflected over the bar, and the Sagehens were able to hold on from there. 

Manthouli had six saves for the Athenas in the defeat, while Berardo had three for the Sagehens. Pomona-Pitzer ended with a 19-7 edge in shots and a 5-3 advantage in corner kicks on the day. 

CMS will be back in action on Saturday when it hosts Chapman for an 11 a.m. contest.