They blocked, passed and took several shots at the goal, but it was not enough for the women’s soccer team, losing to Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 4-2 Wednesday at Ortmayer Stadium.
While the momentum started to pick up when junior defensive midfielder Ariel Loera made the second goal for the Leopards within the last five minutes, the Athenas managed to control the game and eat up the clock.
Head coach Antoinette Love said something was missing that would have given the Leopards a fighting chance: teamwork.
“We did not have the entire team working together,” Love said. “There were some players that played well while others did not.”
One of the many fighters trying to dismantle CMS’ defense was junior forward/midfielder Marisella Macias.
Within four minutes of the game, the Leopards were able to keep the ball in Athenas’ territory, where Macias was waiting to make the first goal.
Unfortunately, the Athenas were able to dominate the field.
“We did not hold the ball like we should have,” Macias said. “We also did not starting playing with the same intensity as we were expected to.”
Even when the Leopards managed to get the ball in Athenas’ territory, CMS fought back quick and pushed them to the limit, whether it was surrounding junior forward Olga Saldivar around minute 20 or challenging sophomore goalkeeper Delanie Pacheco.
Fans praised Pacheco’s efforts as she guarded the goal for the first 30 minutes; however, one block slipped away by Athena’s junior midfielder Julia Borges, leading CMS, 1-0.
After Sports Information Director Will Darity counted down the final seconds in the first-half, senior midfielder Gloria Escalante hoped what they learned will better prepare them for the next half.
“We need to play more consistent and try not to turn over the ball as much,” Escalante said.
That plan seemed to give the Leopards motivation as Macias was able to maneuver through CMS’ defense.
In some parts of the game, the Athenas seemed slow to react whenever Macias had possession, allowing her to seize every opportunity to make that goal.
“It was like they were giving me the space so I took it whenever I could,” Macias said.
That trance the Athenas were in snapped and they went back to business, scoring 2-0 with 38 minutes left.
Their footwork was able to give them another jumpstart when CMS junior midfielder Shaundra Ullman scored two consecutive goals within six minutes.
Furious, the Leopards wanted to make one final push and it started with freshman defender Lauren Toneck’s penalty kick, with less than 16 minutes left.
The Athenas blocked it but the Leopards moved quick and passed the ball to junior midfielder Christine Camacho, who made the first goal for the Leopards, 4-1.
With the audience rallied for the Leopards, the Athenas were starting to play more aggressive, knowing that this will not be a shutout victory; nevertheless, this gave the Leopards momentum to keep pushing until the end.
The Leopards took a total of 11 shots, which was close to the Athenas shot total which was 15.
CMS was able to capitalize on its opportunities and close the game out.
With their SCIAC record now 1-2, the Leopards hope to take what they learned and use it as an advantage in their next away game against Chapman at 7 p.m., Saturday.
“Next game, we are going to be playing harder as a team,” Love said.
Alex Forbess can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.