On Nov. 5, the California Lutheran University women’s soccer team hosted Pomona-Pitzer College in the semi-final of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference tournament. The Regals came out on top with a final score of 2-1 to advance to the SCIAC Championship.
“I think the energy was much improved after our loss to Chapman, I think we all had a lot of reflecting to do and we just wanted to come out hard and do it for our seniors, and basically show confidence that we’re not done yet,” sophomore forward Katelyn Kimball said.
In two games this season the Regals and Sagehens matched up well against each other, with both games ending in overtime draws. This game started to look like previous matchups in the first half, where both teams were unable to get on the scoreboard although they both had the opportunities.
In the second half, the game picked up and Pomona-Pitzer struck first in the 73rd minute when sophomore forward Danika Bethune kicked a line drive from 15 yards away into the top right corner of the goal, putting them up 1-0.
Shortly after that Cal Lutheran struck right back when freshman midfielder Kali Youngdahl lobbed a pass to Kimball and she capitalized on it, scoring the equalizer later in the 73rd minute .
“It felt pretty unbelievable, I’m really happy it happened because I had a lot of opportunities and I kind of felt it the whole game and I started to doubt myself but in the end I’m glad I saw the opportunity to finish it when it came to me,” Kimball said.
After that goal, the Regals continued to keep the energy up on both sides of the ball offensively and defensively shutting Pomona out for the rest of the half.
In the 82nd minute, Youngdahl showed her dribbling skills and found junior forward Bianca Deardorff wide open on the other side in the box for the score, giving the Regals the lead for good.
“It’s nice to come through in big situations like that, so whatever I can do to get my team on to the next round is great,” Deardorff said.
Senior goalie Kristin Bailey had three saves and Kimball led all players with four shots and three shots on goal.
“I’m thrilled that we came back and won the game, we kept playing and playing and kept the game tight and ended up getting the game winner so I’m super pleased that we kept playing the entire time,” head coach Frank Marino said.
On Nov. 8 Cal Lutheran hosted rival Redlands University for all the marbles in the SCIAC championship game. The Regals went into overtime for the fifth time in this year, but this time they had to win on penalty kicks which they haven’t done all season. In the end Redlands won on penalty kicks with a 4-2 advantage winning the championship and earning an automatic bid into the NCAA tournament.
In the 33rd minute, Youngdahl finally put Cal Lutheran on the board with a couple of swift moves and putting the ball just under the crossbar for the goal putting them up 1-0.
Three minutes later Redlands scored off a corner kick as the ball bounced off several players and junior midfielder Summer Norquist of Redlands headed the ball in for the equalizer making it 1-1.
In the second half both teams had huge opportunities to score but they couldn’t follow through. Youngdahl had two great looks at the goal in the 70th and 87th minutes when she headed a ball just over the crossbar but she couldn’t turn to get the shot off.
In overtime the Regals saw another opportunity to score when Deardorff slotted a shot just past the right post.
In penalty kicks the Redlands goalkeeper made a diving save on Youngdahl’s shot which was Cal Lutheran’s third attempt. On Cal Lutheran’s final attempt senior midfielder Kelly Morro misfired her shot over the crossbar. On Redlands’ final attempt Norquist made her shot in the far left corner ending the game.
With the loss, Cal Lutheran missed their chance at an automatic bid to the NCAA playoffs. A playoff opportunity was still possible, but they were not one of the 20 teams selected for an at-large bid to a regional site. The Regals ended the year with a 13-5-4 record.
Published November 12, 2014