The fourth-seeded University of Redlands women's soccer team faced off against the second-seeded Cal Lutheran University Regals in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Postseason Tournament Championship in Thousand Oaks on Saturday. With a score that was gridlocked at 1-1 after double overtime, the Bulldogs prevailed in penalty kicks to take the SCIAC Postseason Tournament title and advance to the NCAA Division III Championships for the first time since 2010.
In a very busy first half, Cal Lutheran struck first when Kali Youngdahl juked a defender and finished the score in the 33rd minute.
However, the Bulldogs retaliated less than three minutes later, as junior midfielder Summer Norquist (Boise, ID) knocked in a header off of a perfectly placed corner kick by junior forward Savannah Laursen (Boise, ID), knotting up the score at one apiece.
From that moment on, a dogfight ensued, with neither team finding the breakthrough before time expired. While out-shooting the Regals by an 18-15 overall margin, the Bulldogs looked to Laursen and Norquist to serve as their most active offensive options by combining for five shots in the second frame. Senior forward Tanya Haggen (Bellingham, WA) joined the attack by unleashing two shots of her own.
With the score even, the teams battled through two 10-minute overtimes but neither successfully found the back of the net, forcing the shoot-out to determine which would advance.
After the Regals converted their first penalty kick, junior forward Jen Franklin (Shoreline, WA) stepped up for the Bulldogs by answering with a made attempt of her own.
The teams traded successful shots, with Laursen matching CLU's goal at 2-2.
Junior forward Lexi Felix (Kailua, HI) came up clutch during Cal Lutheran's next penalty kick by stopping Youngdahl's shot. The Regals' next attempt sailed over the crossbar.
Oliger put the Bulldogs up, 3-2, after netting the third attempt for the Bulldogs, while Norquist sealed the deal with a netter on the fourth PK.
By advancing on penalty kicks, the Bulldogs (11-6-3) earn the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Championships. They look forward to finding out where they will play in the first round during Monday's selection show at 10 a.m. on www.ncaa.com.