THOUSAND OAKS, Calif.– It came down to penalty kicks after an extremely hard-fought 0-0 contest between Cal Lutheran and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps in the second round of the NCAA Division III Women's Soccer Championships, but it was the Athenas who advanced to the Sweet Sixteen after winning the penalty shootout 4-2.
It was a fairly even contest as both teams would struggle create clear-cut scoring chances until the end of the regulation. The teams finished even in the shot column (10-10) but CLU had the advantage in corner kicks (8-2).
CMS created a great scoring opportunity just under the three-minute mark when their striker was sent through on goal but Gabby Flores was up to the task, denying their forward's shot to keep the score level.
The next chance came to the right foot of Cate Boller in the 37th minute when she attempted a half volley from just outside the area but the Athenas' goalkeeper did well to parry the shot wide.
The teams would go into the break level at 0-0 as neither team could create more than a half chance in the first 45 minutes.
After some cagey play to start the second half, Alexandra Fagerberg was presented an opportunity to give her team the lead in the 58th minute when Mandy Crawford slipped in a great ball, but the junior lifted her shot just over the bar.
About five minutes later, the Athenas were awarded a penalty kick after drawing a foul in the box. Fortunately for the Regals, CMS missed their spot kick and the game would remain level.
The match would eventually head to overtime as neither team could find an edge.
Cal Lutheran had a chance to grab the winner just two minutes into the first overtime period but the Simi Valley, Calif. native saw her shot skim the top of the crossbar.
Tired legs would prevent the teams from breaking down the defense and the game would head to penalty kicks to decide who would advance to the Sweet Sixteen.
The Regals were instantly on the back foot when they missed their first penalty. CMS managed to stay composed throughout the shootout, converting on three of their four spot kicks while CLU would score only two of their four. The Athenas would advance after winning the penalty shootout.
Tallying shots on goal for the Regals were Aly Legrand, Crawford, Boller and Fagerberg.
Cal Lutheran concludes an extremely successful season, finishing 13-3-4 overall. Head Coach Frank Marino earned his 159th win after the Regals defeated UC Santa Cruz on Nov. 16, which brings him level with Dan Kuntz for the most wins in Cal Lutheran women's soccer history.
Marino and the Regals will look to regroup and make another NCAA Tournament run in 2020.
Box Score: CLU 0, CMS 0
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Release by Jeff Rebello, Assistant Sports Information Director