The Regals soccer team has dominated its SCIAC rivalry with Occidental in recent years and the match on Sept. 25 at William Rolland Stadium proved to be no different. Although it was a battle to the end, senior forward Kristina Hulse’s double overtime game-winning goal solidified the sixth consecutive victory in three years against the Tigers.
“They’re a good, hard-working team. If you notice all the games have been close with them. We have found ways to pull out a couple games against them, but they always give us a tough game,” said Frank Marino, head coach for the Regals.
Having won the SCIAC conference three consecutive years previously, the Regals looked poised to do the same this season as they sit atop the conference with a record of 3-0; 6-2 overall.
“I think that we have the potential to be as good as the teams we’ve had the last three years. I think we’re still a work in progress as far as getting better, but I think as the season goes on, we should be able to progress at the same level as those other teams,” Marino said.
It was a back and forth contest during the first half. The Regals consistently pushed the ball into Tigers’ territory and found success getting the ball into the 18-yard box, but could not capitalized.
Freshmen forward Bianca Deardorff, junior Taylor Will and Hulse led the barrage of first half shots, each player narrowly missing the net.
Occidental had opportunities in the first half, as well, but the Regals’ defense was strong in their efforts to keep the ball out of their zone.
The second half opened with a bang as Deardorff capped a long play with a goal in the 52nd minute to put California Lutheran University ahead 1-0.
“I just followed the ball. Taylor and the defender deflected the ball right in front of the goalie. I was able to run across and get a shot on pretty much an open goal,” Deardorff said.
CLU continued to pour on the offensive attack with a few more shots on goal as the second half continued, but Occidental’s defense thwarted the Regals’ efforts. With only two minutes left in regulation, the Tigers answered with a late goal by forward Julie Khil to tie the game.
The first over time of 10 minutes went goalless. The Regals came out in the second overtime firing, looking to end the game as quickly as possible. CLU did just that as Hulse found the net on a pass from Deardorff, just two minutes into the second OT.
“I saw her [Deardorff] and the effort she was putting in. I was just lucky she put a perfect ball right in front of me,” Hulse said of her game-winning goal.
It was a hard fought game for the players as they came out on top and with the win put themselves in the driver’s seat to win a fourth consecutive SCIAC title.
CLU is now on a five-game winning streak during which it has outscored its opponents 18-1.
Women’s soccer continues their SCIAC campaign on Saturday, September 28 at Claremont – Mudd Scripps.
Published Oct. 2, 2013