ORANGE, Calif. - The Chapman University soccer team used a strong first half and a little luck to upset the nation's No. 25-ranked team and continue its push for an NCAA postseason bid, defeating visiting Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges 2-1 at Wilson Field on Wednesday afternoon.
The Panthers controlled the first half of play, out-shooting Claremont 12-4 and taking a 1-0 halftime lead on a goal by senior F Stephanie Lambrakis in the 23rd minute of play. Lambrakis beat Athenas' GK Camila Friedman-Gerlicz and found the back of the net for her team-best fifth goal of the year.
Chapman (8-3) came right back in the second half and scored an early goal thanks to junior F Claire Callister who chipped another shot over the head of Friedman-Gerlicz. That gave the Panthers a 2-0 lead in the 51st minute.
From that point, the Panthers' luck took over. One Claremont shot hit the right post. Then the Athenas broke up the shutout with a goal from Laura Hagen in the 66th minute to cut the Panthers' lead to one. Claremont would hit the post once more and the crossbar on another shot attempt and was unable to find the back of the net the rest of the game.
Claremont out-shot the Panthers 9-5 in the second half, but sophomore GK Chloe Canta made two of her four saves in the half to preserve the victory for Chapman.
Chapman, ranked No. 7 in the West Region, improved to 8-1 against the NCAA Division III West Region this season and handed Claremont (7-2-1) just their second loss of the season. The Athenas were ranked No. 4 in the West entering Wednesday's contest.