Regals Battle to Draw With Athenas

Photo Credit: Mariah Zermeno
Photo Credit: Mariah Zermeno

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif.– Despite a late equalizer from freshman Mandy Crawford, the California Lutheran University women's soccer team was unable to find the winning goal in their 1-1 draw against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, Saturday night at William Rolland Stadium.

"On a day where we couldn't find a rhythm and play the way we wanted to play, I was incredibly impressed with our heart and drive to find a way to get a result out of that game," said Head Coach Frank Marino. "To comeback and get a tie late, and also create some more chances to win the game, I'm incredibly proud of the effort tonight."

A strong second half from the Regals propelled the team on the offensive end, out-shooting their opponents 7-2 in the second 45 minutes. CLU would finish with the advantage in total shots (10-7) and corner kicks (4-2) while also winning a multitude of throw-ins near the penalty area, creating many scoring opportunities for the hosts.

CMS were the dominant team from the start, enjoying majority of the possession and creating a few good scoring chances. Gabby Flores, making her first start of the season, was solid between the posts, making six saves on the night.

The center back pairing of Katie Weaver and Zandra Stewart were extremely effective on the night, using their pace and strength to consistently stifle the Athenas' attacking play. Trinity Martinez was fantastic in her right back position, defending well and also getting forward to make some attacking runs down the right wing.

Even with Cal Lutheran's stellar defense, the visitors managed to nick the opening goal from a set piece. CMS won a free kick from the left side of the box in the 48thminute. Rhiann Holman was chosen to whip it in and her delivery found Gabby Clouse on the back post for her to tap in. The Athenas would take a 1-0 lead with almost a whole half still to play.

The Regals, determined to find an equalizer, nearly broke through in the 71st minute when Maddy Griess launched one of her patented long throws on to the head of Isabella Veljacic, but her header would miss just wide of the post.

In the 83rd minute, Cal Lutheran would finally draw level when Danielle Vis, shifting into a left-wing role, made a brilliant run and managed to find Crawford in the box with a left-footed pass. The freshman forward showed her quality, dribbling around a defender and firing her shot home to level the score at 1-1 and send the match to overtime.

With the momentum, CLU nearly found the winner in the 93rdminute when Vis made another run down the left wing. From a tight angle, the Fremont, Calif. native attempted to slip her left-footed attempt inside the near post, but her shot would clank off the woodwork.

The final scoring opportunity came to the right foot of Sam Cornejo, who attempted a volley inside the box in the 95thminute, but her effort would sail high.

Registering shots on target for the Regals were Sonia Chan, Kylie Garcia and Crawford (2).

Cal Lutheran will return to William Rolland Stadium on Oct. 5 at 7 p.m. to host La Verne for another SCIAC contest.

Box Score: CLU 1 , CMS 1
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Release by Jeff Rebello, Assistant Sports Information Director