Women's Soccer: Sagehens Sweep Major SCIAC Postseason Awards

Women's Soccer: Sagehens Sweep Major SCIAC Postseason Awards

CLAREMONT, CA. – The No. 8 Pomona-Pitzer Women's Soccer team swept major postseason awards for the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) with senior Bria VarnBuhler earning SCIAC Player of the Year, first-year Hannah Mandell earning SCIAC Newcomer of the Year, SCIAC Coaching Staff of the Year as well as three other First Team All-SCIAC performers.

VarnBuhler was tabbed the 2019 SCIAC Athlete of the Year and a First Team All-SCIAC selection for the second consecutive season. VarnBuhler netted 11 goals and three assists against conference competition during the regular season for a combined total of 25 points. The Santa Rosa, Calif. native had a pair of multi-goal games against Caltech on Oct. 12 and Whittier on Oct. 30, finding the back of the net twice in each of those contests. She finished the conference slate with three game-winning goals, highlighted by a 1-0 victory over Chapman on Oct. 23. VarnBuhler's 15 goals ties her for No. 2 on the single-season record board with Sara Langer and Shelley Waterworth. 

Mandell was voted the SCIAC Newcomer of the Year and a First Team All-SCIAC honoree following an impressive debut campaign. Mandell logged nine goals, second in the SCIAC to teammate VarnBuhler, and 18 points and played in all 12 SCIAC games. Mandell scored three times in a Sept. 28 win over Redlands and added a game-winning goal against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (CMS) to key Pomona-Pitzer's 1-0 win on Oct. 19.

The 2019 SCIAC Coaching Staff of the Year honors went to the Sagehens' coaching staff. Scanlon, who also won the honor in 2016, led Pomona-Pitzer to a 15-1-1 overall regular season record, highlighted by an 11-1-0 mark in SCIAC play and the top seed in the upcoming SCIAC Postseason Tournament. During the 2019 season, Scanlon's squad posted 10 SCIAC shutouts, as it outscored its opposition 32-4 in conference play. 

The Sagehens also had three First Team All-SCIAC players in senior fullback Brianna Lau, senior goalkeeper Isa Berardo and sophomore midfielder Emily Tomz.

Lau finished the year fourth in the conference in assists from a defensive position. The senior captain led the Sagehens to 14 shutouts this season, a program record through 17 games, and the defense has only allowed two goals at home this season and five overall.

Berardo also earned First Team All-SCIAC honors coming off of a 2018 season where they led Division III in save percentage and goals against average.  Berardo owns every goalkeeper record at Pomona-Pitzer and finished this season with the best goals against average in the SCIAC at 0.38 and tallied 39 saves with five solo shutouts.

Tomz got on the First Team All-SCIAC list for the first time in her collegiate career as she was awarded Second Team All-SCIAC honors a season ago. Tomz recorded two assists this season for the Sagehens and while her name doesn't appear on the box score often, Tomz is invaluable to the Sagehens in the midfield. She controls the tempo of the game for the Sagehens and jumpstarts an offense that scored 47 goals this season and outscored opponents 47-5.

The Sagehens end the 2019 regular season with a program best 15 wins and a .912 win percentage as the SCIAC Regular Season Champions for the third time in the last four years and will hold home field advantage throughout the SCIAC Postseason Tournament, a Championship the Sagehens have not accomplished since the 2015 season.

Pomona-Pitzer will have a chance to set another program record as they look to become the only team to go on and win the double with a Regular Season and Tournament Championship.