THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – The Cal Lutheran offense came alive in the team's 4-0 victory over the Redlands Bulldogs, Saturday night. The seniors paved the way for the win, which also clinched home field advantage for the Regals in round one of the conference playoffs.
Senior Ryley Settles sparked the team with her second career brace and broke the score open in the 18th minute to give Cal Lutheran the early lead. Freshman Danielle Vis began the play with a run up the midfield before pushing out to her right to senior Jordan miller who took it into the box from the left side. With the keeper diving to jam the ball, Miller chipped the ball over the her to Settles who finished it with a quick tap to the back of the net.
The Regals were only getting started, however, as a hand ball by Redlands set up a free kick for Cal Lutheran just outside the top left corner of the box in the 30th. Sophomore Trinity Martinez stepped up to take the kick and perfectly curled the ball over the four-defender wall and tucked it into the left side of the net to put the team up 2-0.
Holding on to the clean sheet, freshman keeper Alexa Soto sent the team into the second half with a massive save with just a minute left on the clock, leaping to the crossbar to save a shot by Redlands Gabby Hart with her right hand.
Soto continued to shine defensively in the second half, opening the period with a diving save to her left to thwart one of the Bulldogs' just five shots on goal of the night, thanks to the team's defense led by seniors Nina Winsick in the backline and Sarah Tadeusiak in the midfield. The defense has made their mark late in the season, seeing Cal Lutheran to 13 shutouts on the season and seven of its last contests.
The offense kept their grinding, however, and the Regals opened the second half with a strong look at goal in the 53rd minute. Jordan Miller flicked a long throw from junior Maddy Griess right to the feet of senior Isabella Chelini who took one touch before booting the ball right below the cross bar that was barely poked by the keeper over the goal line.
Less than a minute later, Cal Lutheran threatened again on a long thrown by Griess that was initially cleared by Redlands. However, senior Emily Williams came in from the left side and intercepted the ball, taking a shot with her right foot without hesitation. The midfielder got her whole foot on the ball, and shot a bullet to the right side that could be heard throughout the stadium. Unfortunately, the attempt was just barely saved by Redlands keeper Natalie Hubacz.
The offensive pressure finally paid off though in the 62nd minute as senior Riley Martin took the ball all the way for goal three. Martin ran the ball herself up the left line, maintaining possession through both a body check and slide tackle, before curling one in to the back right corner out of reach of the outstretched keeper.
To cap off the night, Settles scored another one between the posts for her second goal of the match in the 72nd minute. Sophomore Remi Miller tipped the ball through the defense into the midfield for Settles who took two dribbles before sending one over the keeper coming off her line. This is the second career brace for the senior. The first came her sophomore season against Lewis and Clark on September 11, 2016.
The win brings Cal Lutheran's final conference record to 8-2-4 and 10-2-5 overall. They finish second in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference with 28 points, just one point out of first.
The team now looks to Wednesday, October 31, for the semifinals of the SCIAC tournament. No. 2 Cal Lutheran will host No. 3 Occidental inside William Rolland Stadium. The teams have tied 0-0 twice in the regular season.
Box Score: CLU 4, UR 0
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Release by Christy Effendie, Assistant Sports Information Director