Sagehens Open 2015 With 3-2 Win Over Master's

Sagehens Open 2015 With 3-2 Win Over Master's

Claremont, Calif. - Junior forward Danika Bethune (pictured) converted on a 50-yard breakaway 12:40 into the second half to break a 2-2 tie and give the Pomona-Pitzer Women's Soccer team a 3-2 win over The Master's College on Tuesday afternoon in the 2015 season opener. 

Freshman Peri Cuppens and senior Nicola Ying Fry scored first-half goals less than a minute apart for the Sagehens, who start out the year 1-0. The Master's College, which received first-half goals from Lynnae George and Jasmine Parada to tie the score 2-2 at the break, fall to 0-3-1 with the loss. 

The Pomona-Pitzer goals from Cuppens and Fry came at the 15:39 and 16:34 marks of the first half, respectively, to put the Sagehens ahead 2-0. The goals came against the run of play as the Mustangs controlled the first 10 minutes and had Pomona-Pitzer under some early duress.

"I was really happy we didn't fold in those first 10 minutes," said Head Coach Jen Scanlon, who celebrated her 100th career win in her 11th season at the helm of the Sagehens. "It was their fourth game and they were a lot sharper early on, but we weathered the storm and found a way to change the momentum."

The momentum first changed when sophomore midfielder Abby Onderwyzer Gold played a through ball into Bethune in the right side of the penalty area. Bethune dribbled deep into the box and played a low cross in front of the net, where Cuppens was waiting in front to slot the ball home for her first collegiate goal in only the 16th minute of her career.

Before the celebration even stopped, the Sagehens struck again as Onderwyzer Gold played a long ball to Fry, who dribbled into the right side of the box and cut back past the last defender. She then took a 15-yard shot that hit off the inside of the right post and crossed over the line to give the Sagehens a quick 2-0 lead, just 55 seconds after Cuppens had opened the scoring.

Master's fought back, though, and tied the score on a counter with just 1:38 in the half on a goal from Parada. The Sagehens, though, were able to turn the tables in the second half, as Cuppens passed to Bethune behind midfield, and she was able to flick the ball past the Mustangs last line of defense and turn the corner to get in alone with goalie Yasmin Osorio. After Osorio came off her line, Bethune tucked a low shot past her left leg and into the net to make the score 3-2.

The goal came after Bethune had been denied on great scoring opportunities on three occasions, including two less than 30 seconds apart in the first half.

"She deserved that goal with her work ethic today," said Scanlon. "With all the chances she created and the effort she put in defensively, she deserved the feeling of putting one away. That's a big confidence builder as a forward to see one go in."

Pomona-Pitzer was able to protect its lead well down the stretch, although junior goalie Corey Goelz was called on to make a couple of key saves, including denying Parada on a quality chance in her bid for a second goal. The 3-2 win was a reversal of fortune after the Sagehens lost to Master's 5-0 in Santa Clarita a year ago.

"We talked about it going in that this game wasn't about last year," said Scanlon. "This was a chance to start the 2015 season off on the right foot. They're a quality team and this is a great win for us."

Pomona-Pitzer is back in action this weekend when it travels to San Antonio for a road match against Trinity (Texas) on Friday and a neutral contest against Hardin-Simmons on Sunday.