Regals turn up intensity for playoff push

Regals Soccer

California Lutheran University’s women’s soccer team continued its hot streak last week, extending their winning streak to seven games. The Regals won 2-0 against the University of La Verne on Wednesday, Oct. 15, and won 2-1 against Redlands University on Saturday, Oct. 18.

The fast paced, defensive battle against La Verne started with a goal by freshman forward Brianna Pinal on an assist by junior forward Bianca Deardorff in the first four minutes of the game.

Head Coach Frank Marino said that this set the pace for the game, showing La Verne that Cal Lutheran was not going to back down.

“La Verne played well. They gave us a tough battle but we were able to figure out a way to break their defenses,” Marino said.

The majority of the game was played in the middle of the field. There were 14 shots on goal taken by both La Verne and Cal Lutheran throughout the course of the game.

The Regals, however, had a very strong defense system, and did not let La Verne’s team penetrate their formation.

“They defended really well and didn’t give too many chances [for La Verne] to score,” Marino said.

In the last two minutes of the game, the Regals scored again. Junior forward Sierra Duarte swiftly made her way to the box, passed to freshman forward Kristen Bergseth who scored before La Verne could blink twice.

According to CLUsports.com, the game against Redlands also opened with a quick score by freshman midfielder Sarah Wardle off of an assist by freshman midfielder Kali Youngdahl less than two minutes into the game. Pinal was able to score again, only 16 minutes into the first half.

Goalkeeper Kristin Bailey made seven saves throughout the course of the game. Although Redlands scored in the 75th minute, the Regals did not let this goal faze them and held the lead through the remainder of the game.

With each win the Regals get closer to their ultimate goal, to be the first place Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference champions.

Deardorff said that winning the SCIAC tournament is within the Regals’ reach.

“I think if we keep the momentum, we definitely have a chance to win. We’re only points away from first,” Deardorff said.

Before getting hopes too high, Marino said there is always room for improvement.

“They could work on possession, and could get off the ball a little faster,” Marino said.

Improvement will come with practice but the Regals have something more that gives them an advantage over other teams.

“Not only are the Regals more in shape than other teams, but we also have great chemistry on and off the field,” Pinal said.

Deardorff added that the Regals’ close second at SCIAC tournament last year gives the Regals something to strive for. “We have a reputation to uphold and that definitely puts pressure on us to do our best,” Deardorff said.

The Regals have put themselves in a position to make the SCIAC tournament with only four more regular season games left in their season.

The Regals will continue their goal of a SCIAC championship against Occidental on Wednesday, Oct. 29, at 7 p.m. at William Rolland Stadium.

 

Julie Griffin

Staff Writer

Published October 22, 2014