U of R Women's Soccer Edges St. Thomas, 1-0
Thanks to a first-half goal, the University of Redlands women's soccer team defeated the visiting Tommies of the University of St. Thomas (MN) on Friday afternoon, 1-0. On a day before a crucial Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) match, Head Coach Suzette Soboti used all of her available players on the squad en route to watching the team collect its seventh victory of the season.
Both sides threatened in the first half, but it was Redlands that found the finishing touch when junior midfielder Nicole Fox (Cheney, WA) ripped a 25-yard blast off the crossbar. The ball bounced back to freshman midfielder Cassandra Lively (Redmond, WA), who one-timed her shot into the back of the net. For Lively, it was her first goal while donning a Bulldog uniform.
Taking the one-goal lead into the halftime break, Redlands held the advantage in shots, 7-6, and corner kicks, 2-1.
Coming out firing in the second stanza, the Maroon and Gray almost doubled its lead immediately when junior forward Lihini Weerasinghe (Redlands, CA) broke behind the St. Thomas defense. Tommies' goalkeeper Tori Shepard (Cedar Rapids, IA) made a good read on the play, however, snagging the ball before Weerasinghe could get off a shot.
St. Thomas almost tied the game in the final minutes when three different players fired off consecutive shots on goal. Not backing down, junior goalkeeper Sabrina Grandke-Bawab (Kirkland, WA) was up to the challenge and came up with a save on each of the shots. Those stops proved to be crucial, as Redlands held on for the 1-0 win.
In addition to Grandke-Bawab's timely saves, the entire Bulldogs' backline did a fantastic job of shutting down the Tommies' attack and maintaining the shutout.
Starting goalkeeper for the Maroon and Gray, senior Linzey Smith (Anaheim Hills, CA), notched one save in the first half while picking up her fourth win of the season.
Redlands (7-3-2, 5-3-1) returns to SCIAC action tomorrow morning at 11 a.m. when it takes on Chapman University in Orange.