(Original piece from Whittier College Athletics, Sep. 2017)
By Dan Gudino
WHITTIER, Calif. – The Whittier College Women’s Soccer team took a vigorous match into overtime Saturday morning, but came up short, 1-0 to Claremont-M-S.
This was Whittier’s first overtime match of the season and their first since its 1-0 loss to Puget-Sound back on September 9, 2016.
Throughout the game Poet goalkeepers Stella Thermos (Seal Beach, Calif.) and Lyla Matar (Glendale, Calif.) fought to keep everything in front of them, combining for six saves.
But in the final minute of OT, a breakaway attack slipped through the Poet defense forcing a penalty in the box providing the lone score of the contest by CMS midfielder, Sarah Malott. Thermos was injured in the first half and replaced by Matar before the second half start.
Matar was risky during her time at goalie, once sliding into a one-on-two breakaway, risking her body for a save in the 77th minute.
Whittier had its chances with 16 shots, yet only four would threaten the opposing keeper. One of the opportunities came in the 17th minute, when Whittier’s Kanoe Morihara (Mililani, HI) blasted a shot right in front of goal, but the strike would go right into the chest and arms of the CMS keeper.
Jazmin Gomez (Norwalk, Calif.) had the perfect look on goal in the 72nd minute, which would have been the game-winner as she took the ball between two defenders and into the box having a 1v1 with the goalie. But her ensuing shot would go straight into the chest of Athena keeper Claire Hamson.
Opportunities continued for the the Purple & Gold, with shots that thumped the crossbar, twice. Once in the second half in the 86th minute, by Gomez, whose header was set-up by an impressive long touch pass by Andrea Aldama (Gardena, Calif.). Nevertheless, the header was cleared as the home crowd stared in disbelief with their Poets coming so close.
A minute later though another opportunity presented itself off the foot of Clarissa Field (Whittier, Calif.) who sent her shot too high, by a foot, ending regulation and sending the game into OT.
Whittier moves to 5-4 overall and 2-4 in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, (SCIAC). Poets will host Cal Lutheran University this Wednesday, October 4 beginning at 7:00pm.
At the half, 14 former, women’s soccer players, were honored for their achievements and contributions to the Poet program. These soccer alumni included:
Lead Muller, ’88, Forward, New Hope, PA
Kirsten Davis, ’13, Midfielder, Hilo, HI
Andrea Smith, ’11, Center Mid., La Mirada, CA
Corrine Cleveland, ’14, Forward, Whittier, CA
Kristina Velasco, ’17, Forward, Placentia, CA
Kaela Reisfelt, ’17, Center Mid., Beverly Hills, CA
Alexi Cruz, ’17, GK, Long Beach, CA
Leila Afrasiyabi, ’17, Forward, Los Angeles, CA
Lauren Mayeda, ’17, Midfielder, San Pedro, CA
Maegan Garcia, ’16, Forward, Hacienda Heights, CA
Kim Ibarra, ’16, Defender, Whittier, CA
Ashley Stanford, ’16, Defender, Walnut, CA
Dana Bergstrom, ’15, Defender, Riverside, CA
Madison Shipherd, 15, Forward, Whittier, CA
Article by: Daniel Gudino (Sports Information Office)