ORANGE, Calif. – The Chapman University women's soccer team clinched its first-ever automatic berth into the NCAA Division III playoffs, defeating visiting Pomona-Pitzer Colleges 4-1 in the SCIAC Tournament championship game at Wilson Field on Saturday afternoon.
The Panthers earn the Pool 'A' bid into the NCAA tournament field that is awarded to the conference tournament champions and will learn who and where they will play on Monday morning at 10:30 a.m. when the women's soccer championships selection show airs on NCAA.com.
Chapman (16-5-1) is undoubtedly one of the hottest teams in the nation since Oct. 1, turning a 2-4 conference start into a 10-1-1 record over its last 12 matches, including Saturday's lopsided victory over the Sagehens.
After advancing to the SCIAC Tournament finals in shootout fashion over Claremont-Mudd-Scripps on Wednesday night, the Panthers left little doubt against Pomona-Pitzer. Chapman scored three first-half goals and padded their lead in the second half, before surrendering its first goal in 485 minutes of play with 5 minutes remaining in the game.
Panthers' senior M Karina Cisneros began the scoring in the 17th minute with her sixth goal of the season, skipping a shot to the right side and past Pomona-Pitzer GK Helena Epps.
Later, Chapman sophomore F Rebeccah Bortz and freshman F Baylor Hogan teamed up not once, but twice. Bortz scored the game-winner in the 32nd minute on a feed from Hogan to give the Panthers a 2-0 lead. The goal was Bortz's 10th goal of the year tying her with junior F Van Sobol for the team lead. Nine minutes later, Hogan then redirected a long pass from Bortz and found the back of the net to give Chapman a 3-0 cushion heading into halftime.
For good measure, senior F Aimee Evans added some insurance in the 53rd minute, again beating Epps lower-right corner for her third goal of the season and giving Chapman a 4-0 advantage.
Although down, Pomona-Pitzer (9-7-2) showed fight in the second half, out-shooting the Panthers 6-5 and scoring its only goal in the 85th minute as Amanda Coba notched one for the Sagehens.
Chapman returns to the NCAA postseason for the second time in three years, having been eliminated in the first round in 2010 as an independent Pool 'B' at-large selection.
by Doug Aiken
Sports Information Director
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