CLAREMONT, Calif. – Sophomore Sarah Malott (CMC) broke out on Wednesday night, scoring her first career brace to lead the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's soccer team (13-5-1, 10-2-1) to a 2-1 victory over Whittier College (3-7-5, 3-6-4). Senior Makella Brems (CMC) proved to be a catalyst on the offensive end, creating several chances for the Athenas with her darting runs with the ball, while sophomore Sydney Talmi (CMC) gave the Poets' offense plenty of problems with her tenacious defending and blistering pace. Kaela Reisfelt found the back of the net for the Poets, while Francesca Escobedo and Clarissa Field tried to create several chances, but their efforts weren't enough to upset the Athenas.
Determined to close the remainder of the season on a high note, the Poets showed a lot of energy in the opening half, keeping the Athenas' defense on their feet. Despite not being able to get a shot on goal, the Poets looked hungry after seeing a brilliant pass get called offside and later forcing a corner kick.
The Athenas refused to be shaken and responded in spectacular fashion in the 14th minute. Senior Laynee Laube (CMC) launched a corner kick into the box and saw her cross ricochet off several players. Malott, standing in the edge of the box, then turned her body sideways before receiving the bounce and launched a volley past the keeper with her right foot to give CMS the 1-0 lead.
Whittier relentlessly looked for a way to answer back. In the 25th minute, Miranda Yzabel 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 took a close-range header off a corner kick, but senior Kelly McConnell (HMC) was there to save the shot.
In the 33rd minute, the Poets evened it up after Reisfelt tapped in a low cross from Lauren Kai in front of the empty net. The Athenas almost responded quickly when junior Margaret Loncki (CMC) slipped a quick pass to Laube inside the box, but the forward launched the close-range effort above the crossbar.
CMS looked more in control during the second half, spreading out the midfield and distributing the ball to open players out wide. The adjustments paid off in the 54th minute when Brems received a tight pass in midfield and evaded her defender in her run up the middle. Malott ran past the defense from the right wing at the perfect time to receive a through pass from Brems and make a solo run at goal. With only the keeper closing in on her, the sophomore showed off her composure by slipping a well-placed shot beneath the goalie's hands and into the net.
The Athenas fought to contain the Poets offense, allowing only one shot attempt at goal; however, the Poets almost took a tie in the 89th minute when a free kick from Field hit the crossbar.
CMS will play their final regular season game on the road against Chapman on Saturday, Oct. 29 at 11 a.m.
By Young Kim
Sports Information Assistant