CHICAGO, IL. – The Pomona-Pitzer Women's Soccer Team battled to a hard-earned 1-0 victory over University of Chicago on Saturday afternoon thanks to a dominant performance by the defense and a well-executed goal by Bria VarnBuhler. The commitment to defense was the Sagehens' calling card from beginning to end, as the team did an excellent job recovering off turnovers and breaking up passing lanes from the Maroons' offense. Hanna Kim, Ciannah Correa, Genevieve Gray, and Brianna Lau held down the backline while Isa Berardo put on a goalkeeping clinic, snuffing out dangerous crosses and through balls, and making three athletic saves to preserve a clean sheet.
Season Impact: The Sagehens improve to a 2-0-1 record overall after the victory over Chicago.
Pomona-Pitzer applied the pressure in the early going when VarnBuhler attempted a shot in the seventh minute but saw her attempt saved. The Maroons responded with three shots over seven minutes, but the Sagehens' defense denied them clean opportunities to find the net.
Later in the 30th minute, Adrianna Vera of Chicago ripped a screamer inside the edge of the box, but Berardo made an athletic dive, leaping to their right and catching the ball in mid-air for the save. The Sagehens best opportunity in the first half came at 33rd minute when Charlotte Tapp received a low cross in the center of the box and played one touch before her shot, but it was saved by keeper Miranda Malone.
The Sagehens would find the net in the second half at the 60th minute when Bria VarnBuhler scored off a slotted pass by Emily Tomz into box. Tomz received the ball in the right wing off a throw-in and delivered a hard pass into the box. Bria managed to read the ball, made one touch, and ripped a low shot through the diving keeper's fingers and into the net.
VarnBuhler almost doubled the lead three minutes later when she connected on a header off a cross by Hamer, but her close attempt was saved in point blank by Malone. The Sagehens continued to press for an insurance goal, but their lead was never in doubt as the Maroons struggled to break through the Sagehens' defense for the remainder of the game.
Up Next: The Sagehens will wrap up their Chicago trip with a match against Illinois Tech tomorrow at 11:00 a.m.