THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – The Cal Lutheran Regals took hold of the top spot in the conference standings, Wednesday night, with a 5-1 victory over the La Verne Leopards. The team's home opener featured goals from five different athletes, four coming in the second half alone.
After struggling to convert scoring opportunities into goals early in the season, the Regals finally found the back of the net against La Verne.
"I think we had better movement off the ball. We looked more like the way we want to play in the second half tonight. I thought we created more chances to score, especially in the final third, than we've done in the previous couple of games," said head coach Frank Marino.
The Regals got off to a quick start offensively in the 15th minute with a shot from sophomore Trinity Martinez who rattled one off the crossbar, before senior Sarah Tadeusiak cleaned up the ball to send it between the posts.
The Cal Lutheran defense led by Nina Winsick, Zandra Stewart and Riley Martin then stepped up to hold the Leopards to just two shots on goal in the first half, both collected by sophomore keeper Gabby Flores, sending the teams into the half with a 1-0 score.
Opening their second half stronger than the first, the Regals returned to field with a goal just three minutes into play by sophomore Sam Cornejo who buried one in the back of the net off an assist from junior Emily Williams to push their lead to two.
The Leopards managed to claw back within one, however, with a goal of their own from senior Cambria Smith who snuck one past Flores to the back left of the goal in the 54th minute.
Though La Verne tried to swing the momentum in their favor, the Regals offense continued to dominate finding ten shooting opportunities in the second half alone to pull away for the win.
Freshman Aly Legrand got the late surge going by adding the third goal on the night for the Regals, her second in as many games, serviced from senior Ryley Settles in the 76th minute to push the lead back to two.
Sailing through the remaining fourteen minutes, Williams contributed her second assist of the night, this time to freshman Janelle Effarah who dribbled past two defenders to launch a shot past the keeper to the top right corner of the net in the 83rd.
Just three minutes later, senior Jordan Miller jumped in on the action with a ball from Legrand that found the back left of the goal to put the Regals up a final score of 5-1 and secured their third win of the season.
The victory combined with Pomona-Pitzer's loss to Claremont-Mudd-Scripps puts Cal Lutheran in sole possession of first in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference with a 3-0-2 record overall and 2-0-1 in conference play.
The Regals, however, face off against the CMS Athenas at home this upcoming Saturday, September 15, at 7 p.m. in a showdown for the top spot.
Box Score: CLU 5, LV 1
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Release by Alexa Barnes, Sports Information Assistant, and Christy Effendie, Assistant Sports Information Director