Late Comeback Comes Up Short As Sagehens Fall To Occidental

Late Comeback Comes Up Short As Sagehens Fall To Occidental

Claremont, Calif. - Junior Mary Stafford (pictured) scored in the 85th minute to cut Occidental's lead to 2-1 and the Pomona-Pitzer Women's Soccer team had a penalty kick with 1:02 left to try to tie, but the Tigers were able to hold on for a key SCIAC win on Saturday.

The loss drops Pomona-Pitzer's record to 7-5-3 overall and 5-2-3 in the SCIAC, while Occidental closes the gap on the Sagehens in the league standings by improving to 7-4-1 overall and 5-4-1 in the league. Pomona-Pitzer is 0-3-2 in its last five games (including a non-league loss to UC Santa Cruz) after a wave of injuries struck, after previously being alone in first in the conference.

Occidental took a 1-0 lead in the first half off a Sagehen turnover as Michaela Tsuha stole the ball and had her first shot saved, but was able to tuck the rebound into the empty net at the 16:55 mark. The lead stayed 1-0 until the second half, when Erin Iacullo stole a Sagehen clearance at the top of the box, and ripped a shot into the upper-left corner with 21:22 left to push the lead to 2-0.

The Sagehens rallied late, as Stafford found the net on a pretty play that started from the left wing. Sophomore Jamie Kerester sent a cross into the middle, and sophomore Nadia Alaiyan one-touched it backwards into the slot 12 yards out, where Stafford one-timed it into the left side of the net to make the score 2-1.

With 1:02 to go, Occidental was whistled for a trip in the penalty area, and the Sagehens had a chance to tie. However, goalie Dallas Gunny read the shot on the approach from Pomona-Pitzer junior Nicola Ying Fry and slid to her right to leave a much smaller part of net to aim at, and Fry's effort went just wide of the left post.

Gunny finished with eight saves for Occidental, while junior Annie Wedel had six for the Sagehens. Pomona-Pitzer had a narrow 17-12 edge in shots overall on the day.

Pomona-Pitzer is back in action on Wednesday when it hosts Cal Lutheran for a 4 p.m. contest.