Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
WHITTIER, Calif. – The Whittier College women's soccer team played a tough game against Chapman University, ranked 25th in the country, ending in a 3-0 loss and bringing their record to 0-1 in SCIAC and 2-3 overall.
The purple and gold started the game off strongly, playing aggressively and pushing a well spread Panther defense, but taking opportunities when they could. Although Chapman took twelve shots on goal in the first half, the Whittier defense and keeper, Shanna Falch were able to prevent all but one shot from going in the net.
It was apparent throughout the game that controlling the tempo was key to clinching the victory. Chapman pushed offensively in the first half, keeping strong control of the midfield, which forced the Whittier defense to deal with the ball on their side of the field for a majority of the half. Whittier did however have a golden opportunity in the 33rd minute when junior Danielle Kwasniowski pushed through the Panther defense and had a one on one situation with Chapman goalie Marissa Fehrman but wound up striking her shot just wide barely missing the bottom right corner of the goal helping Chapman enter the half up 1-0.
"It was a good first half, if we had a couple of breaks we could have tied the game up or even been in front 2-1, but that's the game and mistakes on both ends will cost you" stated Head Coach Monica Gerardo.
Coming out in the second half the Poets obtained a lot more touches and possessed the ball longer allowing them to get better looks on goal clearly shown by their five shots taken on goal.
Sophomore Madison Shipherd played a dynamic role as a midfielder for Whittier in the contest, taking three shots two of which were on goal. Joining her on the offensive push was sophomore midfielder Allison Calabrese, who wound up taking four shots, two of which were on goal.
Despite the strong surge in the second half, Whittier saw Shipherd take a hard fall on her head twice forcing her out of the game late resulting in Chapman adding two goals late to extend their lead to 3-0 and a lead they would not relinquish.
"Losing one or both (Shipherd & Breeann Yamada) will hurt the team but we have a great group of girls and girls who are ready to step into certain roles and today we had some girls who stepped up and played hard but unfortunately things didn't go our way", said Gerardo.
"The second half was a little rough, Chapman broke us down and we had tired legs and they were able to get behind us and that's how they were able to score their two goals."
Whittier returns to the field as they host the Leopards of the University of La Verne on Saturday, September 15 beginning at 11:00am.