POMONA (11-12) – For the second straight year, UC Santa Cruz took part in the NCAA Division III Women's Soccer Championship. Their opponent was the host Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens. The Sagehens used two first half goals to defeat the Banana Slugs 5-2.
This match was a rematch of a match that was played on September 2nd in Pomona. The Sagehens won that match 2-0. In their last match, the Banana Slugs won 10-0 over Mills College in Santa Cruz on last Saturday, while the Sagehens tied Chapman University 0-0 on November 2nd in Pomona,but fell in a shootout.
In the first half, the Sagehens would get on the scoreboard within the first eight minutes. With 37:25 left in the first half, Bria VarnBuhler scored to give the Sagehens a 1-0 lead. The Sagehens would score again with 6:14 left in the half. Agueda Dudley-Berrios would take a pass from Katie Tao and kicked the ball into the back of the net to give the Sagehens a 2-0 lead. The Banana Slugs would not get a shot in the first half of play. The Sagehens led 2-0 at the halftime intermission.
In the second half, the Sagehens would get on the scoreboard first. With 36:36 left in the match, Danika Bethune would score to give the Sagehens a 3-0 lead. With 21:09 left in the match, VarnBuhler would score her second goal of the day to give the Sagehens a 4-0 lead. With 9:48 The Sagehens would score another goal, with 9:48 left, on a Lily Gane shot off a pass from Sofia Barsher. The Banana Slugs would score their first goal of the day with 5:49 left on a Lindsey Archer header on a corner from Gabby Powell to trim the Sagehens' lead to 5-1. Archer's goal was the first of her career with the Banana Slugs. With 4:27 left in the match, the Banana Slugs would score again on a Claire Lim kick off a pass from Cayce Shaw to trim the Sagehens' lead to 5-2.
"While our late surge wasn't enough to keep the talented Pomona squad at bay, it reveals a lot about the character of our team to chip their way back into the game," said head coach Emily Scheese. "We are happy to have had another opportunity and another day to play together in the tournament."
The final chance that the Banana Slugs had to score would be a Megan Carey shot with 48 seconds left in the match, but the shot was saved by Sagehens' goalie Corey Goelz.
Four players (Archer, Carey, Lim and Powell) each had one shot to lead the Banana Slugs while for Pomona-Pitzer, Bethune and Peri Cuppens both had a match high four shots. Goelz got the win for the Sagehens while Athena Del Rosario got the loss for the Banana Slugs. Del Rosario set two school records in the defeat – most saves in a season (89) and most saves in a NCAA tournament match (12). The Sagehens outshot the Banana Slugs 26-4 and the Sagehens had one more corner kick (4-3) than did the Banana Slugs.
The loss completes the 2016 season for the Banana Slugs. The Banana Slugs finished with a 6-11-1 record.