Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
CLAREMONT, Calif. – The Whittier College Women's Soccer team was knocked out of Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Playoff contention Wednesday as they fell 2-1 to Claremont-M-S.
Whittier (5-7-5, 3-6-4 SCIAC) and Claremont-M-S (13-5-1, 10-2-1 SCIAC) were deadlocked at 1-1 at the half but the Athenas were able to capitalize in the second with a goal ten minutes in that proved to be the game winner.
Sarah Malott added both goals for the Athenas and for Whittier Kaela Reisfelt (Beverly Hills, Calif.) was able to connect for her fourth on the season.
Whittier looked for the upset on the evening trying to wrap up the 2016 season on a high note and provided a ton of energy in the opening half keeping the Athena' defense on their heels. In the 14th minute, CMS struck first. Laynee Laube launched a corner kick into the box and saw it ricochet off several players. Malott, standing at the edge of the box, then turned her body sideways before receiving the bounce and launched a volley past Poet keeper Alexi Cruz (Long Beach, Calif.).
Whittier continued to provide pressure the rest of the half and looked for a way to answer. In the 25th minute, Miranda Yzabel (Whittier, Calif.) took a curling shot from the right edge of the box, but saw her shot sail several inches left of the post. Three minutes into the half, Leah Kolek (Diamond Bar, Calif.) took a close-range header off a corner kick, but Kelly McConnell was there to provide the save.
In the 33rd minute, the Poets evened up the game after Reisfelt tapped in a low cross from Lauren Kai (Torrance, Calif.) in front of the empty net. The Athenas looked to respond immediately afterwards with Margaret Loncki slipping a past to Laube inside the box, but the forward launched the close-range effort above the cross-bar.
CMS controlled the second half outshooting the Poets 9-5 and had two corner kicks. The pressure provided an opportunity in the 54th minute when Makella Brems received a tight pass in the midfield before making a run up the middle. Malott ran past the back line from the right wing who then received a through ball from Brems earning a solo run on goal. With Cruz coming out to provide a tough angle, Malott placed a shot between her hands into the goal, which was the eventual game winner.
Cruz finished with five saves on the evening, while Clarissa Field (Whittier, Calif.) registered three shots.
Whittier returns home for their final game of the 2016 season this Saturday, October 29 as they host Cal Lutheran University beginning at 7:00pm.