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Riley Zitar and Kaitlyn Helfrich celebrate CMS' second goal (photo by Stella Cheng)
Riley Zitar and Kaitlyn Helfrich celebrate CMS' second goal (photo by Stella Cheng)

CMS Women's Soccer Knocks Off Unbeaten Whittier 2-0

CLAREMONT, Calif. - Nicole Oberlag scored on a penalty kick early in the second half and Kaitlyn Helfrich added an insurance goal in the 79th minute, as the CMS women's soccer team took down previously unbeaten Whittier 2-0 on Wednesday evening at Pritzlaff Field.

With the win, CMS moves to 4-4-2 on the season and 2-1-2 in SCIAC, while Whittier falls to 5-1-2 overall and 1-1-2 in league play. 

The game was scoreless after the first half, with Whittier goalie Vanessa Martinez keeping it a 0-0 tie with a save on a penalty kick. The Athenas got a second chance from the spot early in the second half, though, as Cate Lewison was fouled tracking down a loose ball in the box. Oberlag stepped to the line and sent home the tiebreaking goal to give CMS the 1-0 lead just 7:29 into the second half. 

Helfrich then cleaned up for the second goal after a brilliant individual effort from Riley Zitar, who stole in the ball in the CMS defensive third and made a 50-yard run up the middle of the field. After waiting for reinforcements to arrive, Zitar sent a shot from 30 yards out that clanged off the right post and stayed out, but the loose ball rolled back through the box, where Helfrich was able to get to it first and slot it home to make it a 2-0 lead with 11:12 left. 

The CMS defense, which held Whittier to only six shot attempts, took over from there as it preserved the shutout. Sadie Brown had two saves, both of which were on shots from distance, as center backs Annie McKinley and Emma Fogg played the full 90 to lead a back four that kept the Poets out of dangerous areas for most of the game. Olivia Tuffli also went most of the way at right back, while Sam Ree and Taylor Arakaki split the time at left back.

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