Hard-fought match ends in overtime heartbreak

Log jam: Bianca Deardorff (above) and the Regals were unable to fend off Puget Sound in the first round of the NCAA playoffs.  Photo by Becky Pruett - Staff Photographer
Log jam: Bianca Deardorff and the Regals were unable to fend off Puget Sound in the first round of the NCAA playoffs.
Photo by Becky Pruett – Staff Photographer

After two overtime periods on Nov. 16, the California Lutheran University Regals soccer team’s season came to a close.

The number one seeded Puget Sound Loggers came to Thousand Oaks to take on the number four seeded Regals. Puget Sound scored a goal off of a corner kick in the second period of overtime to win the game 1-0, eliminating the Regals in the process.

For seniors Anna Medler, Kristina Hulse, Bailey Marquez and Stephanie Gilbert, Saturday night was the end of their tenure on the Regals soccer team, during which they won four consecutive SCIAC titles. Freshman forward Bianca Deardorff acknowledged that it will be tough to replace what the seniors brought to the field.

“Moving forward, we definitely have some big shoes to fill,” Deardorff said. “But, I believe we have players that are willing to step up to the plate and uphold the reputation of the team that the program has built it up to be.”

Junior defender Chelsea Braudo reiterated the challenge that will come with losing four seniors. According to Braudo, however, the team is already looking forward to a deep playoff run next season.

“Those four girls have created a legacy here,” Braudo said. “We have a young team, but we will come back next year with a lot more experience and a hunger to go further in the playoffs. This is a competitive group of girls and we are already looking forward to starting the hard work for next season.”

The referees let both teams play freely, which allowed them to be physical without having to worry about fouls being called. Late in the second half, the physicality of the match took its toll as midfielder Marquez was carted off the field after suffering an ankle injury.

Puget Sound attacked constantly, winning the shots on goal battle seven to four, but the Regals didn’t back down. With 12 minutes left in the second half, Deardorff fired a shot that was deflected by a defender. Following that attempt, the Regals had what may have been their best scoring opportunity of the game. CLU was allowed four corner kick opportunities in a row, each of them being deflected out of bounds by Puget Sound, until the Loggers were finally able to gain possession.

“We connected passes and maintained possession of the ball for a good portion of the game,” Deardorff said. “Our biggest problem was finding the back of the net and taking advantage of the opportunities we created.”

Junior goalkeeper Kristin Bailey played a great game, making a key save in the final minute of the second half that allowed the Regals to hold on and take the game into overtime. Bailey had six saves in the game. Finally, Puget Sound’s Jill Shimabuku scored off of a corner kick in the second half of overtime to beat the Regals.

Puget Sound went on to defeat Hardin-Simmons in the second round of the national tournament in another 1-0 double overtime victory and will play in the Sweet Sixteen this weekend.

 

Keith Sparks
Staff Writer
Published Nov. 20, 2013