The University of Redlands women's soccer team traveled to Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges on Saturday night to face the Athenas in a must-win scenario to move onto the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Postseason Tournament. Thanks to an early score and stingy defense, the Bulldogs came out on top of a 1-0 victory in the final, regular-season game, and moved up to third in the standings.
The Maroon and Gray created chances early in the stanza on nice crosses from sophomore midfielder Hanya Loskutoff (Dublin, CA) and junior forward Madison Mills (San Ramon, CA). Only a few minutes into the action, Mills found junior midfielder Hayley Romo (Port Orchard, WA) on a pass. Romo ripped the ball from 18 yards out to find the upper-left corner of the net for an early 1-0 Bulldog lead.
Sophomore midfielder Mel Johnson (Bremerton, WA) helped lock down play in the midfield by making a seamless transition from offense to defense and back again. This minimized CMS' chances for an equalizer, as the Bulldogs worked to create a cushion with another goal.
Thanks to the defensive prowess of senior Erin Schlosser (Sammamish, WA), junior Louisa Alstot (Portland, OR), sophomore Bria Bowton (Spokane, WA), and freshman Abby Nordquist (Gig Harbor, WA), the Athenas never tested senior goalkeeper Hannah Menk (Pleasanton, CA) in the first half, as she faced no shots on goal.
CMS upped the ante in the second half by creating more of a back-and-forth style of play between the teams. Redlands put on a shooting brigade from the 68th to the 71st minute, with Mills blasting two shots, including one that hit the crossbar. This was followed by another great look from Romo that was blocked before Mills capped off the spurt with a shot on frame, which was saved by the Athena goalkeeper.
On the other end of the field, CMS continued to press, but Menk stepped up to the challenge with four nice saves to preserve the huge 1-0 conference victory for the Maroon and Gray.
With this massive win, Redlands (9-7-1, 6-7-1 SCIAC) secures a spot in the SCIAC Postseason Tournament as the No. 3 seed. The Bulldogs will travel to No. 2-seed Pomona-Pitzer Colleges on Thursday, November 2, for the semifinal match.