The third-seeded Occidental women's soccer team secured the program's first-ever Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Postseason Tournament title after playing top-seeded Pomona-Pitzer to a 0-0 double overtime draw, and advancing 6-5 on penalty kicks Saturday afternoon in Claremont, Calif.
Playing in its fourth SCIAC Postseason Tournament championship game, Occidental improves to 10-2-5 on the season and earned the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Championship. Pomona-Pitzer will now await a possible at-large bid to the NCAA tournament. The NCAA selection show will take place Monday, November 5 at 10:30 a.m.
The Tigers, who won the regular season matchup with Pomona-Pitzer, 1-0, advanced to the tournament final following a 2-1 victory over second-seeded California Lutheran in the semifinals. Pomona-Pitzer secured its spot in a third straight tournament final after defeating Redlands, 4-0 in semifinal action.
In a back-and-forth championship contest, the Sagehens held a 10-4 advantage in shots on goal over Occidental, but the Tigers' goalkeeper - and tournament Most Valuable Player Sydney Tomlinson - made 10 saves to keep the match level at 0-0 after 110:00 minutes of action. Sagehens' goalkeeper Isa Berardo was equally impressive as they responded when called upon making four saves, including one in the first session of extra time, to keep the game scoreless.
Pomona-Pitzer applied pressure late in the second half, forcing Tomlinson into five of her 10 saves, but could not find the go-ahead goal. In the second frame of overtime, the Sagehens nearly struck, but the Tigers' net-minder fended off a pair of shots to send the game to penalty kicks.
In the shootout Kialani Mackey, Katherine Kim, Nicole Castro, Grace Hildner, Karla Alas-Lopez and Elleni Bekele each found the back of the net, while Pomona-Pitzer's Emily Tomz, Megan Kuo, Bria VarnBuhler, Kira Matthews, and Ciannah Correa each scored from the spot.