Rivera’s Duo Pushes UR Women’s Soccer Past Athenas, Redlands Remains in Fight for SCIAC Tournament Spot
Junior forward Samantha Rivera (Thousand Oaks, CA) scored twice as the University of Redlands women's soccer team took down the visiting Athenas of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges by a score of 3-1. With the victory and an Occidental College loss to Whittier College earlier this evening, Redlands pulls within one win of capturing the fourth and final slot in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Postseason Tournament.
After several defensive battles, the U of R exploded on offense, recording a hat trick for the first time since Oct. 5 while tallying seven shots-on-goal.
Redlands notched the game's first score in the ninth minute as senior captain Fionna Connolly (Salem, OR) tossed a nice cross into the box where Rivera connected on her fifth goal of the season.
CMS countered less than five minutes into the second half, taking advantage of a Bulldog handball in the box. Senior midfielder Julia Nishioka (Honolulu, HI) connected on the penalty kick to even the score.
Connolly put the squad ahead once and for all at the 52:41-mark by striking a ball out of a massive jumble in front of the goal for her fourth game-winner of the year.
Rivera and junior midfielder Kendall Pegan (Lafayette, CA) joined forces to ice the ball game in the 69th minute. Pegan stuck a nice toss from the middle of the pitch into Rivera's front pocket where she ripped a top-shelf netter to make it 3-1.
The Bulldogs' starting defensive line of senior Emily van den Bosch (Arcadia, CA), juniors Maddy Cartwright (Salt Lake City, UT) and Ellie Harrington (Seattle, WA), and sophomore Amanda Plagge (Boise, ID) played a major role in taming CMS while allowing just three shots-on-goal.
Sophomore goalkeeper Sabrina Grandke-Bawab (Kirkland, WA) put together a solid effort in Redlands' cage, making several good reads off of her line on top of picking up three saves in her fifth win of 2011.
Combined with their 2-1 win on Oct. 1, the Bulldogs completed a regular-season sweep of the Athenas for the first time in over a decade.
Redlands (9-5-1, 6-5-0) wraps up the regular season on Saturday when it simultaneously celebrates Homecoming and Senior Night on Farquhar Field with a 7 p.m. showdown with the University of La Verne.