ST. LOUIS, MO. – The No. 8 Pomona-Pitzer Women's Soccer team punched their ticket to the Elite 8 after an Anna Ponzio golden goal in overtime to lift the Sagehens over the University of Chicago 1-0 on Saturday afternoon at Francis Field.
Season Impact: With the win, the Sagehens improve on their program best number of wins and move to 20-1-1 overall and reach the Elite 8 for just the second time in program history.
The Sagehens have not been to the Elite 8 since 2016 where they fell to Chicago in PK's. This time around it was the Sagehens who ended the Maroons season in the NCAA Tournament with a Ponzio goal in the 96th minute.
Senior Isa Berardo had another shutout in goal for the Sagehens as they tallied three saves while the Sagehen defense notched their 19th shutout of the season in all competitions.
Although the Sagehens scored the only goal of the game 96 minutes in, they had plenty of chances to score goals in regulation. The Chicago goalkeeper came away with three saves and none of them were bigger than in the first minute of the game where she stopped a chance from senior Bria VarnBuhler to keep the game even at 0-0. Pomona-Pitzer had another good shot at goal in the eighth minute after a bouncing ball in front of goal after a misplay from the keeper was cleared out by the Chicago defense to keep the score tied.
Late in the first half after a foul, Pomona-Pitzer had another good scoring chance as sophomore Helena Robinowitz ripped a shot towards goal but a diving save kept the Sagehens off of the board and even at 0-0 heading into halftime.
The defense for Chicago was hard to crack but the Sagehens saw a little daylight in the 56th minute after a nice low cross from first-year Hannah Mandell found the feet of VarnBuhler but a shot just wide of the keeper left the game scoreless as the teams headed to overtime.
After already facing Chicago in PK's in 2016, the Sagehens were determined to settle this game in overtime. Pomona-Pitzer came out aggressive to start overtime and had an early chance to put the game away as first-year Charlotte Tapp found herself open in front of goal but pushed the ball wide as Chicago avoided a disastrous ending. The Sagehens and Tapp would come back just three minutes later and Tapp this time turned and found a wide open Ponzio dashing towards goal. Ponzio took a touch and placed a low ball into the bottom right corner to leave the keeper helpless as the Sagehens rushed the field and rushed their way into the Elite 8.
Up Next: The Sagehens will look for their first ever trip to the Final 4 as they take on Wash U tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. PST.