The California Lutheran University women’s soccer team defeated the La Verne Leopards 2-1 on Oct. 17 at William Rolland Stadium, improving their record to 4-6-1 overall.
With the victory the Regals tie with La Verne for fifth place in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, according to clusports.com.
Senior forward Raquel Weckhurst started the first half with a bang as she scored the initial goal with passing assistance from senior defender Mallory Carcich, giving the Regals a 1-0 lead.
After getting fouled by La Verne, freshman midfielder Emily Williams struck the ball back to her teammates with several front headers preventing the Leopards from gaining momentum.
Although the Regals implemented a different strategic line-up, both teams rallied back and forth with the ball for the rest of the first half, letting the score stand still.
“It was difficult today just because we tried a new formation, so we’re kind of unfamiliar with that, but I think everyone put in 100 percent effort today,” sophomore midfielder and forward Kali Youngdahl said.
With both teams switching sides, tensions arose in the second half as midfielder Sarah Wardle fouled La Verne and defender Julia Kearns was forcefully pushed down.
For the second time, Carcich aided Weckhurst with a free-kick which allowed the ball to hit the net. Yet Cal Lutheran did not get the point due to an offside call.
With 13 minutes left in regulation, the Leopards achieved their first goal tying up the score at 1-1. However the game was not over yet as Weckhurst tried to back heel the ball away from her opponents.
Attempting to kick the ball, Weckhurst rushed down the field making her way to the box yet she was fouled. Weckhurst was fouled around five times during the entirety of the game and slammed her hands onto the ground as she was pushed down once more.
“[A] couple of them should have been PKs in my opinion. So that’s frustrating just because they’re usually goals. Sometimes the refs get it right, sometimes they don’t. We’ve been playing long enough to know that that’s how it goes sometimes,” Weckhurst said.
With five minutes left to play, sophomore defender Olivia Leyva attempted a free kick from just outside of La Verne’s goalie box, and the ball ricocheted off of the top post. Youngdahl handled the ricochet and scored the winning goal for Cal Lutheran as she headed the ball into the rear of the net, missing the goalie by a few feet.
Youngdahl said that this was the first goal she’s made in the 2015-2016 season. The final score was 2-1 leaving the Regals with one point left to reach fourth place in the SCIAC.
“They actually gave us three points. We’re I think tied with La Verne, so it really boosts our confidence and helps us in the long-run. It was fun to get the win for my team because we know what it’s like to go into overtime and it’s not fun,” Youngdahl said.
Head Coach Frank Marino said that La Verne played a great game despite it being the most crucial match of the year for both teams.
“I mean, we lose there and they get three more points [and] we’re in trouble with any chance to make the top four for the conference tournament. Getting a win puts us back in the mix,” Marino said.
The Regals continued their winning streak when they battled Chapman’s Panthers on Oct. 10, as the end score came down to 2-0.
According to clusports.com, Weckhurst scored her 11th goal of the season, consecutively scoring goals three games in a row. Youngdahl also had a goal, scoring in the 77th minute off an assist from Weckhurst.
“I hope that we get first at SCIAC and then go a few rounds in the NCAA tournament,” Weckhurst said.
Marino said the Regals care for each other and have great chemistry together. His goal for the season’s end is to ultimately grow as a group.
“[We hope] to continue building on mass and continue getting better. Obviously, we have to look to get some more wins in the second half and hopefully improve on our first half,” Marino said.
Playing their third game in SCIAC on Oct. 14, the Regals will face off on their home turf against Redland’s Bulldogs at 7 p.m.
Published October 14th 2015