U of R Women’s Soccer Out-Muscles No. 20 Chapman in 2-1 SCIAC Opener

Cassie Lively shined as she recorded a goal and played relentless defense in a 2-1 win over Chapman. (photo credit: Beth Doolittle)
Cassie Lively shined as she recorded a goal and played relentless defense in a 2-1 win over Chapman. (photo credit: Beth Doolittle)

The University of Redlands women's soccer team began Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) competition against No. 20 Chapman University Panthers on Wednesday evening under the lights at Farquhar Field. Through a demanding game that was jam-packed with physical play, the Bulldogs took down the Panthers in a 2-1 victory that also promoted Soccer Without Borders.

The Bulldogs came out strong, utilizing their arsenal of speedy, offensive weapons. In the ninth minute, sophomore midfielder Kate Frame (Fox Island, WA) flew past the defense with ease on a Bulldog advantage, as she reworked a shot angle with impressive footwork.  She punched in the first goal of the game by finding space above the leaping Panther goalkeeper for Redlands' early 1-0 lead.

The Maroon and Gray remained offensive-minded over the next 10 minutes, which featured five shots from four different players. Junior midfielder Cassie Lively (Redmond, WA) led the charge by firing off two shots in the matter of two minutes. Senior forward Tanya Haggen (Bellingham, WA), senior defender Amy Pumputis (Redmond, WA), and junior midfielder Savannah Laursen (Boise, ID) followed suit, firing off a shot each.

Despite the Bulldogs' momentum, the Panthers eked out a goal on a set piece from a corner kick, evening the score at one all.

Redlands went on to out-shoot Chapman by a 10-5 margin in the first half.

In the second half, the Maroon and Gray hustled out of the gates with a clear offensive vision in mind. Within the first minute, Redlands sent out a high-powered attack with Lively leading the effort. As Chapman tried to play the ball back to its goalkeeper, senior forward Lihini Weerasinghe (Redlands, CA) pressured the defender, which forced the ball to become loose with an open goal.  Lively collected the ball, fired off a shot that was saved by the goalkeeper, and then recovered the ball for a second-chance opportunity that floated into the net for the 2-1 lead.

Weerasinghe continued the team's trend of offensive pressure by firing off two shots for the Bulldogs.

Throughout the remainder of the game, the physicality of the Bulldog defense shined. The trio of junior Sam Keary (Mission Viejo, CA), sophomore Faith Campbell (Bainbridge Island, WA), and freshman Erin Schlosser excelled at dissipating any offensive movement by the Panthers' forwards. In addition, sophomore midfielders McKenzie Oliger (Seattle, WA) and Abby Paolowitz (San Diego, CA) provided the same amount of intensity off the bench for the Bulldogs.

After halting a last-minute scoring push by the visitors, the U of R came out with the 2-1 victory. 

The tandem goalkeeping squad of junior Lexi Felix (Kailua, HI) and freshman Hannah Menk (Pleasanton, CA) was in action once again for the Bulldogs. Menk (2-0) recorded the win and a save, while Felix collected a save as well.

The Bulldogs (3-1-0, 1-0-0 SCIAC) continue SCIAC competition on Saturday, September 20, as they travel to Claremont to face off against Pomona-Pitzer Colleges at 11 a.m.