Associate Sports Editor
Sometimes trying too hard does not work out well, which proved true Wednesday as the Leopards fell to the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Athenas by a score of 13-7 at CMS.
La Verne jumped into the pool and out to a 2-0 lead less than five minutes into the game but the Athenas came roaring back with four unanswered goals to lead 4-2 at the end of the first quarter.
“They weren’t out there playing loose, when they did they were scoring but they started playing tight and things got out of hand,” head coach Alex La said.
It was a struggle for the Leopards on the offensive end as they could not score right in front of the cage on multiple occasions.
Six-on-five opportunities were not absent but could not be scored. La Verne went 0-5 on the afternoon but CMS converted three of their six chances.
La Verne also faced trouble on the inside, allowing three goals from the center position.
“The thing is, they’re not putting away shots, sometimes they are lacking experience and mental toughness,” La said.
Junior center Erika Vargas led the way for the Leopards, scoring four goals to keep La Verne at an arms distance.
“We wanted to get back to where we were against Pomona-Pitzer. We saw our potential and we want to get back to that place,” Vargas said.
The Leopards returned to top form on a couple of occasions. In addition to Vargas’ performance, freshman attacker Bethie Ross put one past Second Team All-Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference netminder Abigail Woodruff to open the 2-0 lead.
However, La Verne could not hold that form throughout the game.
They faced a 9-4 hole at halftime and a 12-4 margin after the third before winning the fourth quarter 3-1.
“We needed to be more aggressive on the defensive end. We needed to communicate more with one another and we needed to be seeing the opportunities and not be tunnel visioned,” Vargas said.
With only one more SCIAC contest left before the conference tournament, the Leopards look to improve on the game.
“We were not coming back on defense at times, crashing, just working on the little things,” junior attacker Brittany Orduno said.
“Hopefully they took something away from this game and get better,” La said.
The Leopards hold a 1-5 SCIAC record and an 8-19 overall record.
They face Redlands at 11 a.m. tomorrow at Las Flores Park where lone senior Anjuli Palos De La Rosa will be honored in her last home contest.
Daniel Hargis can be reached at email@example.com.