THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — The California Lutheran University women's soccer team advanced past Pacific Lutheran University via penalty kicks in the second round of the 2017 NCAA Division III Women's Soccer Championships. The game ended in a 1-1 draw and CLU made all five penalty kicks, Gabby Flores blocked one of PLU's kicks and the Regals moved on to round three.
Cal Lutheran advances to the Sweet 16 for the first time in program history. The Regals improved to 16-3-3 on the year.
Pacific Lutheran maneuvered its way down the field to start the game and fired a shot on goal in the first minute, but Flores was there for an easy stop. That was her only save of the first half, while Natalie Robinson came up with two saves for the Lutes.
Machaela Graddy fired the first shot on goal for the Lutes in the second half in the 54th minute, but Flores was ready and made the save. Kali Youngdahl responded with a shot of her own soon after, but Robinson answered with a save. The Regals continued to push the issue, but the teams stayed deadlocked at 0-0.
In the 75th minute, there was a battle in PLU's box. The ball found its way to Alexandra Albaeck, who currently was on her back.She wasn't facing the goal as she kicked the ball over her head, and the outstretched hand of Robinson, as she gave CLU a 1-0 lead.
The Violet and Gold continued to press forward, which made them susceptible to a return from the Lutes, and they did just that. In the 78th minute Graddy, had a breakaway and juked out Flores just outside the box before she fired the ball into an empty net to even the score.
Cal Lutheran had a chance to take the lead in the 83rd minute with a free kick right outside of the box, but Robinson was there for the save.
The end of regulation saw a 1-1 tie forcing overtime. Neither team could find the back of the net in the first round of overtime. Both teams were aggressive to make something happen, but the second overtime ended without a goal as well. The game went to a shootout.
The Regals connected on all five of their penalty kicks compared to four from Pacific Lutheran. In penalty kicks, Jordan Miller, Zandra Stewart, Sam Cornejo, Katie Weaver and Maddy Griess found the back of the net for the Regls. Flores stopped the first Lute kick, which proved to be the game-winning stop.
Cal Lutheran advances to the third round of the 2017 NCAA Division III Women's Soccer Championships where they will play Williams College. A location and time has yet to be determined.
Box Score: CLU 1, PLU 1; CLU advances by PK's 5-4
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Release by Ryan Jorgenson, Sports Information Director / Makenna Pellerin (Sports Information Intern)