Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionwestPhotography.com
WHITTIER, Calif. – Senior captain Lauren Kai (Torrance, Calif.) had a senior night to remember Saturday evening at Memorial Stadium as she lifted the Whittier College Women's Soccer team to the 2-1 victory over Pomona-Pitzer.
Kai added the golden goal in the first overtime session that completed the comeback for the Purple & Gold as they improved to 10-6, 6-6 SCIAC. The Poets currently hold a five-game winning streak and now sit in a three-way tie for 2nd place within the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) standings.
Pomona-Pitzer struck first in the 36th minute and controlled the first half with 10 shots as Bria VarnBuhler was fed by Tasha Clark giving the Sagehens a 1-0 lead at the break.
But in the second half the Poets came out and changed the momentum outshooting the Sagehens 11-7, while getting the equalizer from freshman Jazmin Gomez (Norwalk, Calif.) who connected in the 62nd minute from 20-yards out straight away. Late in the second half the Poets continued to pressure and had some great looks on goal for the game-winner but none would fall.
Clarissa Field (Whittier, Calif.) had the first look at the 72:43 mark with an open goal but a defensive team save by PP would keep the game deadlocked. On the ensuing corner kick, Field put in a nice ball into the box and found the head of Gomez but her shot would go high above the crossbar.
Whittier was determined to pull off the win in regulation as Kolek would take a shot that ended up wide in the 80th minute. Miranda Yzabal (Whittier, Calif.) was next as she would make a nice play around her defender and would curl a shot near post from just inside the box but her strike would go high, creating gasps throughout the crowd.
Kolek and Field were the final two who got shots off in the final three minutes of the game but both would be corralled by Sagehen keeper Isa Berardo that forced the game into overtime.
In extra time the Poets got off the lone two shots for the period. Yzabal was able to get a header on the first but it ended up wide. But a minute later, Kai would connect from just outside the box, transitioning between two defenders and sending a right over Berardo's head far post that would fall just inside the crossbar sending the Poets to the home victory.
Lyla Matar (Glendale, Calif.) picked up another win in goal posting six saves. Whittier outshot the Sagehens 18-16 and held the corner kick advantage 5-2.
Kolek finished with five shots with four being on frame, while Field, Gomez, and Yzabal each added three.
Whittier has two road games remaining this week beginning with Claremont-M-S this Wednesday, October 25 beginning at 7:00pm before traveling to take on Cal Lutheran University on Saturday, October 28 beginning at 7:00pm.