Women strikers sweep Sagehens, Athenas

by Scott Harvey
Special to the Times

To kick off the 1994 Homecoming events in true winning spirit, the ULV women’s soccer team completed a historic sweep of Pomona-Pitzer last Saturday. They continued their pace with a 4-1 victory over Claremont on Wednesday, also marking the first season sweep of the Athenas.

From the beginning kick off against Pomona-Pitzer, the game appeared to be completely defensive. Early in the game Pomona set up many scoring opportunities, but as they moved the ball into Leopard territory their plays were foiled. La Verne goalkeeper Tiffany Hall was partly to thank for their defensive success, often charging out of the goal to make spectacular saves.

The Leos set up little offense, and no single player seemed to want to start a drive.

“We wanted to come out defensive and play it safe,’’ said La Verne fullback Jamie Hesler.

The Leos were very successful in preventing shots on goal early, but the speed and quickness of the Pomona-Pitzer forwards seemed to be a definite advantage.

Thirteen minutes into the game the Sagehen forwards set up their first real scoring opportunity when junior forward Layne Mosler beat two Leo defenders and took a shot that was aggressively stopped by Hall. Again Hall set the pace of the game and the Leos began to control the ball and set up opportunities of their own.

Five minutes after Hall’s great save the Leos charged down the field on a break and set up defender Ana Delgado with a head shot which hit the left post and rolled out of play.

La Verne wasn’t done yet, and with the help of sweeper Tori Bare and Hall, they kept the ball out of Leo territory.

Near the end of the first half the Leos, desperate for a score to gain control of the game, played a great passing game and eventually set up forward Wendy Rockenbaugh with a 30 yard shot on goal. The shot barely sailed over the net and once again the Leopards got close but couldn’t convert on their scoring opportunity.

At the half the Leos and the Sagehens both seemed to be frustrated with the lack of scoring opportunities.

‘‘We just couldn’t get the scoring shot we needed, it was very frustrating,’’ said La Verne Head Coach Wendy Zwissler, referring to the first half of play.

The Leos entered the second half aggressively and offensively minded. La Verne mid-fielder Jennifer Zwissler controlled the offense, keeping the ball in Pomona-Pitzer territory most of the second half. Hall continued to rule the game in goal stopping four more shots and often setting up the offensive drive with a powerful kick.

As the second half reached the 32 minute mark, the Sagehens, hoping to strengthen the defense sent in four new players. The new threat was short lived and once again La Verne began to charge down field.

With 10 minutes of play left the Leopards drove their hardest and set up Delgado on a break to the left side of the field. When the defenders caught up to her she immediately centered the ball. Charging from the goal came the Sagehen goalkeeper, reaching out only to tip the ball off her hands.

Taking advantage of the tipped pass Leo forward Wendy Dawson booted the ball and scored the first and only goal of the game.

The rest of the game La Verne confidently contained the Pomona-Pitzer offense and still kept the ball in the Sagehen territory for the remaining time.

This win is a big one for La Verne, marking the first time that the Leos have swept Pomona-Pitzer in league play.

‘‘This was a big win for us, and the greatest thing about it was that we really worked hard as a team,” remarked Coach Zwissler.

Coming in to the Claremont game they needed victories over the Athenas and over Whittier tomorrow to finish in second place.

Against Claremont, Jacqui Zwissler scored two goals, and Jennifer Zwissler and Delgado each knocked in one.

The Lady Leos are 9-6-1 in overall standings and 8-3 in SCIAC league play.

The win on Saturday definitely was a confidence booster for the Leos and the team has worked hard to achieve good team play and a winning spirit throughout the entire season.

Scott Harvey
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