By Charlotte Renner PZ ’27
On Sept. 30, the highly anticipated women’s soccer match between the undefeated Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (CMS) Athenas ended in a draw. With nearly 750 fans in attendance, the matchup capped off this fall’s Sixth Street Rivalry weekend, which saw CMS go undefeated in all contests.
With pressure coming from both sides as soon as CMS took the opening kickoff, it was immediately clear that it would be an exciting evening on Pritzlaff Field.
The Athenas took the first shot of the night in the seventh minute, but it wasn’t until the 17th minute that freshman goalkeeper Patricia DePalma PO ’27, who came into the game having only allowed one goal this season, was really tested. On a great shot heading right under the bar, the Sagehen keeper made an incredible save, pushing the ball over the goal and out of play. Though it remained scoreless at the half, the Sagehens seemed to be on the back foot with only two shots compared to the Athenas’ ten.
The 45th minute began with rain pouring down as the Sagehens kicked off the second half. The Hens came out aggressively, earning a corner kick in the first ten minutes of the half, followed by their best chance of the game so far — a strong follow by Ava Watanabe going just wide of the post.
Despite the pressure they put on early in the half, with two of their top scorers out (Ella Endo with Tendonitis and Amanda Khu with an injury early in the game) the Hens were having a hard time creating opportunities in the final third. Still, their back line and their keeper held the Athenas to a scoreless draw, maintaining their undefeated streak, but taking a step back in the national rankings.
With their tie against the Athenas, the Sagehens are now 5-0-1 in their conference and 9-0-1 overall, remaining in first place in the SCIAC, but moving down from 7th to 16th in the national Division III rankings. The Hens have scored 20 goals so far this season and have allowed only two.
With such a strong back line and goalkeeper, as well as forwards who can (and have) put the ball in the back of the net, the Hens could be on their way to their first ever national championship. However, first they will have to face La Verne at home on Oct. 7.