LA VERNE, Calif. — Lexi Rond stole the ball and found a wide open Kaitlin Gardhouse for a breakaway goal with 35 seconds left as Cal Lutheran narrowly defeated La Verne 13-12 on Wednesday night at Las Flores Pool.
The Regals got their fourth win in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) and kept pace with Pomona-Pitzer in league play. They also moved four games above .500 and are now 10-6. CLU has now won three straight games against the Leopards and hold the 17-9 series lead.
Gardhouse's lone goal and Rond's only steal proved to be the determining factor as late heroics allowed CLU to remain undefeated in the SCIAC.
Eight different Regals scored in the game, led by Nikki Roed and Mardell Ramirez with three goals each. Rond added two goals and five more Regals added one more. The offense had its power play opportunities as Rond and Victoria Rose Meek drew four and three ejections, respectively. The Regals converted on seven of their 10 power play opportunities.
Bailey Meyer was in goal for the whole game and made nine big saves. She added a team-high three assists and one steal to her stat line. The defense also made key stops as Christin Hirn, Ramirez and Mackenzie Thomas had two steals each.
The Regals faced their first deficit in SCIAC play as the Leopards had a 4-2 lead after the first quarter. CLU answered as the tide switched in the second quarter. The Regals outscored the Leopards 4-2 and the score was tied at the break. The teams continued to be tied throughout the third quarter, with each team scoring four times, and it was knotted at 10 going to the fourth. Both teams scored in the sixth and two minute marks and the score was tied at 12 with two minutes remaining. CLU made the final key plays down the stretch, with the help of Rond and Gardhouse, as the Regals prevailed 13-12.
The Regals face their toughest test in the SCIAC next. Cal Lutheran welcomes Pomona-Pitzer to the Samuelson Aquatics Center on Thursday at 4 p.m.
Box Score: CLU 13, ULV 12
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Release by Ryan Jorgenson, Sports Information Director