Athena’s second half surge too much for Poets to overcome; Lose opener 14-11
Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
WHITTIER, Calif. – The Whittier College women's lacrosse team opened up both their 2012 campaign and their SCIAC Conference play with a matchup against the Athena's of Claremont-M-S on a cold, rainy Wednesday evening.
The previous time these two teams met back in 2011, Whittier was on the losing end of 19-9 and 20-10 routes, but this year it proved to be different as first year head coach Staci Williams made some changes especially on the defensive side of the ball and it paid off as the Poets had a chance for an upset victory in the final minutes of play but was unable to hold on to their two point lead with just under five minutes to play.
CMS pulled away late picking up their defense and intensity while scoring three unanswered late that proved to be the difference in the 14-11 final.
CMS jumped out early and scored within the first twenty seconds of the game and then tacked on two more immediately after that to take a 3-0 lead thanks to Anthea Weixel. But Whittier didn't go away and came roaring back scoring four unanswered coming from future Hall of Famer Carolyn Mukai, freshman Lily Baxter and Brooke Winslow.
From this point it became a seesaw battle with neither team being able to take a substantial lead as CMS tacked on two more goals to go up 5-4. But again Whittier came back as Dana Barraco tied the game up at 5 a piece with just under 5:40 remaining in the first half. After a CMS goal from Madi Shove that put the Athena's up 6-5, Amiya Moretta came down to force a CMS turnover that allowed Winslow to go down the length of the field to score the equalizer right before the half.
Coming out of intermission, Whittier continued to be the aggressor adding a quick goal in the first minute from Mukai who added her third goal of the contest. A couple minutes later Barraco then added her second goal of the game thanks to an assist from Mukai as she slashed across into the crease finding the back of the net helping Whittier take a two goal lead 8-6.
With these two quick goals, the Athena's were forced to call a timeout and from here they rattle doff two quick goals to tie the game up at 8 apiece. After Baxter tacked on another goal to tie the game up at 9-9, CMS scored four unanswered to go up 13-9 opening up the game a little bit late in the game.
But Whittier wouldn't go down without a fight as Raquel Damti added two late goals to get the Poets within three at 14-11 and as time expired, Winslow added in a free position goal, but it didn't count as time expired keeping the score differential to three.
Freshman Nicole Yorba had a very strong game turning 17 shots away in the loss.
The Poets look to use this strong performance against a very strong Claremont-M-S program to bounce back as they travel to take on the Sagehens of Pomona-Pitzer this Saturday, February 18 beginning at 10:30am.