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California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

Comeback victory over La Verne secures SCIAC Tournament spot for Regals Soccer team

Sophomore+Regals+Defender+Brynn+McMahon+%28pictured%29+steers+the+ball+away+from+La+Verne%E2%80%99s+offense.+
Abbey Saucedo
Sophomore Regals Defender Brynn McMahon (pictured) steers the ball away from La Verne’s offense.

The California Lutheran University Regals soccer team earned a 2-1 comeback win against the University of La Verne Leopards on Saturday, Oct. 21 to clinch a spot in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament and remain in contention for the championship.

“Coming off the bench we were down 1-0, and to be able to walk off winning 2-1, that’s something I’m gonna remember for the rest of my life,” senior midfielder Kari Orr said.

The win means the Regals remain undefeated this season with a record of 8-0-2 and an overall record of 13-0-3, and they currently sit in second place in the conference standings. 

The Leopards took the lead against Cal Lutheran, scoring off a corner kick in the first half. Despite the Regals taking a total of eight shots on goal compared to La Verne’s two, the Leopards continued to hold onto their lead until the last 10 minutes of the game. 

“We were down to a team that we took a little lightly in the first half, I think one of the worst halves that we’ve done,” junior midfielder Adriana Maroney said. “We knew we needed to fight for the last five minutes. It was everything.”

Maroney put the Regals on the board in the 86th minute, scoring off a corner kick provided by first-year midfielder Hana Sawan. Two minutes later, graduate student and forward Isabella Veljacic scored the game-winning goal to keep the Regals’ hopes for a first SCIAC championship since 2017 alive. Veljacic’s winner was assisted by Orr.

Although the visitors maintained their lead throughout the majority of the game, the Regals earned an overall possession total of 57% compared to the Leopards’ 43%. The Regals also took a total of 12 shots on goal as opposed to La Verne’s three. 

“What a great service from Hana on the corner, what a great finish from Adrie, and then a great ball in there for Bella to finish it,” Head Coach Frank Marino said. “Our center-backs also did a really good job defensively.”

Marino said the first 80 minutes of the game lacked the usual level of intensity and effort that the Regals have shown all season, but he believes the Regals are more than well-prepared to continue to be successful. 

“We gotta put this game in the past and obviously learn from it,” Orr said. “La Verne did great for 80 minutes and we played the last ten fantastic, but we need to be able to play that ten minutes for a full 90.”

Maroney said the win is a collective team effort, made possible through a combination of the defensive effort to maintain possession, the midfield’s effort to organize effective passing, and the front line’s effort to finish by cashing in on scoring opportunities.

Orr said the team has been refining its finishing skill during practice, especially in regard to corners and 1v1 tackles in the goal box. She said the skills were well executed during Saturday’s game, evidenced by the corner assist provided by Sawan. 

“I am very grateful,” Maroney said. “We weren’t expecting it to come down to the last five minutes like it did, but we were able to figure it out and I’m thankful that we got the win today.”

The Regals will face off against the Athenas at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps on Wednesday, Oct. 25 at 5 p.m. in the penultimate game of the conference.

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