Author: Tim O’Donnell|Ryan Whalen
Women’s Water Polo (6-18 overall, 4-4 SCIAC)
The Occidental women’s water polo team honored its seven graduating seniors prior to its final home game of the season against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (CMS) last Wednesday at Taylor Pool. Despite a lackluster season record, the Tigers headed into their match-up with the No. 1 Athenas on a wave of momentum, carrying a two-game winning streak into the competition. But Occidental struggled to generate offense throughout the first quarter, netting just one goal to CMS’ three. However, behind the senior leadership of the largest graduating class in the last decade, the Tigers regrouped and utilized their stout defense to create opportunities on the offensive end. Senior attacker Kelsey Shyba led the squad with three goals, while fellow seniors Lindsay Albino and Katya Soot added scores of their own. Defensively, Morgan McClafferty (senior) and Albino each registered three steals while senior goalies Sofie Munoz and Geneva Perez combined for five saves. But the Occidental surge was not enough to overcome the Athenas, and the Tigers dropped the contest 10-6. The team then rebounded with a dominant 16-2 victory over Caltech in its final game of the regular season Saturday. Fourteen different Tigers found the back of the net on a school-record 52 shots on goal. The Tigers travel to Whittier this weekend for the SCIAC Championships.
Softball (5-31 overall, 2-22 SCIAC)
The Occidental softball team traveled to Redlands Friday for its only doubleheader of the week. The Tigers had difficulty moving runners around the bases, as they left nine players stranded in the first game and eight in the second. Despite its struggles to push runners across the plate, the black and orange did supply plenty of opportunities, as Alex Battest (first-year) led the team with four hits on the day. Defensively, pitcher Ali Goldberg (sophomore) notched a solid Game 1 outing, allowing just three earned runs through six innings of work. But in the end, their lack of offensive firepower and five total errors proved the Tigers’ downfall, as they lost by scores of 7-2 and 7-0, respectively. The squad travels to Pomona-Pitzer Friday at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. before wrapping its season at home against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (CMS) Saturday at noon and 2 p.m.
Women’s Tennis (1-13 overall, 0-8 SCIAC)
The Occidental women’s tennis team attempted to snap its 10-game losing streak in its final contest of the regular season at La Verne Saturday. However, the Tigers were unable to find their stroke and were blanked in both singles and doubles competition en route to their sixth consecutive 9-0 loss. The black and orange now directs its focus to the SCIAC Championship Tournament on May 2–3. Opponents and match times are TBA.
Women’s Lacrosse secures SCIAC No. 3 playoff seed
The Occidental women’s lacrosse team (11-4 overall, 8-2 SCIAC) split its two road games last week, ending the regular season in a three-way tie for first place in the SCIAC. The Tigers traveled to Pomona-Pitzer last Wednesday for what would become a defensive thriller. After attacker Mary Richardson (sophomore) netted the first goal of the game for the black and orange, the Sagehens registered five unanswered goals and eventually took an 8-3 lead into the locker room. But in the second half, goalie Kirsten Hee (sophomore) and the Tiger defense were able to lock down the Sagehens, as Hee allowed just one goal in the final 30 minutes and collected eight saves in the contest. Offensively, midfielder Rebecca Belding (senior) led a late-game comeback effort for the black and orange with two goals in the final 28 minutes. However, the squad’s efforts came up short in a hard-fought 9-6 loss. The unit then bounced back with a 10-8 win at Whittier in Saturday’s season finale. Occidental again relied on a late-game push to secure their victory, outscoring the Poets 6-3 in the second half. Senior Tori Larson and Belding took point on the Tiger attack, combining for eight goals. Hee once again anchored the defense, tallying six saves. The Tigers host a SCIAC Championship Tournament first-round contest against Whittier tonight at 7 p.m. at Jack Kemp Stadium.
Kristin Oberiano (Women’s Golf)
The biggest constant for the Occidental women’s golf program this season has been the friendly rivalry between Katie Park (senior) and Kristin Oberiano (sophomore). The two have been at the top of the leaderboard all season long for the Tigers. Oberiano opened up the season with a 12-over 83 at the SCIAC preview, before beating out Park for the team lead at SCIAC #1 with rounds of 8-over 80 and a 6-over 78. When Park faltered slightly at the Cal Lutheran Invite, Oberiano stepped up her game to keep the team in third place with a 5-over 77 and a 10-over 82. Oberiano, a native of Guam, began playing golf at the age of five, when she joined the Guam Junior Golf League. Taking matters into her own hands, she started a golf team at her high school, the Academy of Our Lady of Guam, as a first-year before taking part in the Callaway Junior World Championships. She took a two-year hiatus from the sport during her sophomore and junior years but after transferring schools, she picked her clubs back up and won the All-Island Championships. She also participated in tournaments in the Philippines, Switzerland and Los Angeles before finding a home at Occidental. Oberiano will now look to team up with Park in an effort to push the Tigers over the hump at the SCIAC championships. The women tee off on Sunday at the Oak Valley Country Club.
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