THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – With the race for conference playoffs coming down to the final matches of the season, the Cal Lutheran Regals picked up three more critical points in a 1-0 victory over the Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens, Saturday afternoon.
"It was a big game, we needed those three points. Today I thought we played well and had some good chances that we didn't quite finish," said head coach Frank Marino, "We had some games that could've gone our way earlier in the season, too, that didn't, but today went in our favor and we got the win we needed."
The Regals opened the homecoming-day contest with two looks at goal. A long throw from junior Maddy Griess was headed out by a Sagehen defender, setting up the Cal Lutheran corner from the right flag in the 13th minute. Sophomore Alexandra Fagerberg serviced the ball to Martinez in the box, but her shot was punched back into the play by the keeper. Senior Nina Winsick and regained possession, and got a second shot off but missed high of the crossbar.
Just two minutes later, Cal Lutheran threatened again with a run up the left line by junior Riley Martin before diagonally crossing the ball out to Fagerberg who chipped one back into the middle for freshman Danielle Vis. The defender then headed the ball straight towards the middle of goal, but the ball one-hopped straight to the keeper.
Late in the half, freshman Janelle Effarah got one last look in the 38th minute, taking the ball from the right to left side of the box herself and took a shot towards the near post, but was blocked by Pomona-Pitzer's Ciannah Correa.
That was it for the first half, as the game remained gridlocked heading into the second 45. Holding her ground between the posts, sophomore keeper Gabby Flores opened the period with a huge save in the 49th minute, sliding into the splits to deflect Sagehen's Bria VarnBuhler's rolling shot with her right foot. Flores wrapped up the game with a total of four saves, and her eight complete game shutout of the season.
Still looking for the gamewinner, Martin sent a long ball in the 62nd minute from 50 yards out into the box. Vis brought the ball down with her chest and directly to the feet of sophomore Sam Cornejo, who took one touch before nailing a shot to the far-left post. However, Pomona-Pitzer's keeper, Isa Berardo, got just enough on the ball to deflect it to the left of the posts.
Finally, with 15 minutes left on the clock, senior Jordan Miller brought the ball into the box and fought off three defenders, but lost possession to Pomona-Pitzer's Genevieve Gray who played the ball back to her keeper. Fortunately for the Regals, Berardo had come just far enough off her line to misread the pass and by the time she had realized her error, the ball had already rolled into the left side of the net for an own goal.
Now down a score, Pomona-Pitzer increased their pressure, but each attacking wave was cut short by the Cal Lutheras defense that held up and wound down the clock to send the team home with a 1-0 victory.
The win moves Cal Lutheran to 9-2-5 on the season and 7-2-4 in Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play. The team returns to the pitch Saturday, October 27, for the final regular season match of the year. The 7 p.m. PST contest is also Senior Night for the Regals with recognition for the team's seven seniors preceding kickoff.
Postgame Interview: Trinity Martinez, Jordan Miller and Danielle Vis
Box Score: CLU 1, PP 0
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Release by Christy Effendie, Assistant Sports Information Director