Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
WHITTIER, Calif. – The Whittier College women's lacrosse team held an early advantage over the Athena's of Claremont-M-S Saturday afternoon but fell short in the second half losing 11-7 in a tight defensive battle from start to finish.
Senior captain Carolyn Mukai got the scoring started with a goal 1:30 in and after CMS evened the game up three minutes later, Shaina Denny put the Purple & Gold in front once again with her first goal at the 23:45 mark.
Claremont-M-S didn't go away though and fought back tallying three unanswered with two coming from Madi Shove that closed out a low scoring first half giving them the 4-2 advantage at the break.
Out of the break, Rachel Darby extended the Athena lead to 5-2 but the Poets responded with back to back goals from Mukai and Denny with the second coming off of a free position that pulled WC within a goal 5-4 forcing CMS Head Coach Heather Semelmacher to call a timeout.
Coming out of the timeout, the Athena's played three straight quality possessions adding three goals to their total until Mukai stopped the run at the 15:40 mark with an unassisted goal. But CMS would put together another 3-0 run that moved the score to 11-5 before Whittier put together one final run that fell short adding goals at 3:07 and 1:47 from Drew Kuperman and Lily Baxter.
Between the posts Nicole Yorba put together a strong defensive effort turning away seven shots, while her counterpart Kate Anello picked up 11.
On the afternoon, Whittier converted on just 1-8 free positions that proved crucial in the end, while being outshot by just one 22-21.
Mukai led the Poets on both ends of the field finishing with three goals and an assist on 11 shots, while picking up seven groundballs, three draw controls, and causing five turnovers.
Whittier has two games remaining on their schedule with the first on the road against Chapman on Wednesday, April 17 before returning home on Saturday, April 20 to host Pomona-Pitzer beginning at 1:00pm.