The University of Redlands women's soccer team traveled to the University of La Verne to face the Leopards amidst a tight Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) race. After a scoreless first half, the Bulldogs upped the ante in the second and found the back of the net in the 57th minute for an important conference victory.
Redlands turned up the offensive pressure early by earning three-consecutive corner kicks, all of which were taken by junior defender Louisa Alstot (Portland, OR). The last one resulted in a header-shot from junior forward Madison Mills (San Ramon, CA), but it went just high. Junior midfielder Hayley Romo (Port Orchard, WA) tried her head on the ball in the 16th minute, but the Leopard goalkeeper made the stop.
La Verne stepped up its pressure by evening the play and forcing Redlands to play tenacious defense. Senior goalkeeper Hannah Menk (Pleasanton, CA) made an incredible save by punching a shot over the crossbar to keep a clean sheet through the first.
After an encouraging halftime talk from Head Coach Suzette Soboti, Redlands entered the second stanza with a new sense of urgency and determination. Sophomore midfielder Alexa Glick (Boise, ID) took the first shot of the stanza in the 48th minute. Eight minutes later, freshman midfielder Eva Vlassopoulos (Portland, OR) served a low ball to the near post where senior forward Mollie Craighead (Descanso, CA) flicked it to Romo. Romo then one-touched it past the Leopard goalkeeper to put the Bulldogs on the board, 1-0.
La Verne worked hard to equalize the score, but the backline of Alstot, senior Erin Schlosser (Sammamish, WA), sophomore Bria Bowton (Spokane, WA), and freshman Abby Nordquist (Gig Harbor, WA) denied all chances.
Menk continued to step up to the challenge by making two major stops in just under a minute of action midway through the period.
In the 82nd minute, sophomore forward Bryn Anderson (Tahoe City, CA) tried to make it 2-0 when she rocketed a shot that unfortunately hit the post. Sophomore forward Gabby Hart (Sammamish, WA) attempted her foot at the deflection but that one was blocked.
La Verne continued to press for the equalizer in the 89th minute, but Menk answered the challenge by making an unbelievable, diving save in a sea of people to preserve the big, shutout win.
Redlands (8-7-1, 5-7-1 SCIAC) heads to Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges to close out the regular season on Saturday, October 28, at 7 p.m.