The University of Redlands women's soccer team scored an electric goal in the final minutes of Saturday's match to lift the Bulldogs to a 1-0 victory over Cal Lutheran University in Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) action on Farquhar Field.
The end of regulation put pressure on both teams to come up with the breakthrough goal and avoid overtime. Redlands showed more urgency by successfully converting in the 87th minute. After junior forward Alexa Groesser (Greenwood Village, CO) took the late-game corner kick, she ended up with the ball back on her foot. In space, she then injected the ball perfectly to the far side of the box. Junior forward Gabby Hart (Sammamish, WA), who had just checked into the game in the 80th minute, was left alone in the front of the net, where she timed her approach perfectly to leap up and head the ball right past the Regals' goalkeeper for the game-winning goal.
During the first half, the Regals produced five shots, while the Bulldogs registered four. Despite facing more attempts than her counterpart, junior goalkeeper Brittany Dinkins (Renton, WA) locked down the net with three skillful saves.
In the 10th minute of the match, smooth ball movement nearly created a scoring opportunity for the Maroon and Gray. First-year midfielder Logan Swim (Issaquah, WA) passed it forward to sophomore midfielder Eva Vlassopoulos (Portland, OR), who cut to the middle into open space and knocked a through-ball for senior forward Madison Mills (San Ramon, CA). Mills beat her defender, but right as she loaded up a shot, the Regals' goalkeeper jumped on the ball to stop the attempt.
The Bulldogs threatened Cal Lutheran deeper into the half with two quick shots in succession. First, junior midfielder Alexa Glick (Boise, ID) fired off a strong attempt that forced a legitimate save but the ball remained in play. Off of the rebound, senior midfielder Rachel Tungol (San Ramon, CA) took her shot, but it sailed above the net.
In the second half, CLU unleashed an unexpected attempt from deep, which forced Dinkins to make a leaping save. The ball deflected into the crossbar, leaving it looming just a couple of feet from the goal line. Fortunately, sophomore defender Abby Nordquist (Gig Harbor, WA) was there to knock the ball out of danger and maintain the Maroon and Gray's clean sheet.
The Regals continued to gain quality looks, but many were from distance and off the mark. First-year goalkeeper Natalie Hubacz (Grassvalley, CA) checked into the game during the second half and made two saves to share the shutout with Dinkins.
Redlands (6-3-1, 5-1-1 SCIAC) heads to Whittier College on Wednesday, October 3, for a SCIAC tilt against the Poets at 7 p.m.