No. 4 Redlands Bulldogs at No. 1 Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens
Wednesday, October 31, at 2:30 p.m.
The heavy-weights of the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) are primed to battle it out on Wednesday, October 31, in the semifinals of SCIAC Women's Soccer Postseason Tournament. After clinching one of four playoff spots three games ago, the No. 4 University of Redlands heads to top-seeded Pomona-Pitzer Colleges for a 2:30 p.m. showdown, while No. 2 Cal Lutheran University and No. 3 Occidental College are set to square off at 7 p.m. in Thousand Oaks.
The Bulldogs excelled this season with a record of 9-6-2 overall and even eclipsed their strongest mark in conference action since 2015 with an 8-4-2 record. The Maroon and Gray began SCIAC action on fire with a 4-1-0 start, which set them up to be a postseason contender as the regular season wound down.
Sophomore midfielder Eva Vlassopoulos (Portland, OR) has emerged as the offense's generator with six goals and three assists for a 15-point total this season. She boasts a team-high .625 shots-on-goal percentage and owns three game-winners. Senior defender Louisa Alstot (Portland, OR) and senior forwards Hayley Romo (Port Orchard, WA) and Madison Mills (San Ramon, CA) each join Vlassopoulos with three assists. Romo has also provided consistent scoring with three goals on the season.
Defensively, Alstot leads a young core of competitors in sophomore defender Abby Nordquist (Gig Harbor, WA), and first-year defenders Logan Swim (Issaquah, WA) and Rilee Mezenen (Holladay City, UT). The Bulldogs have limited their opponents to a 1.33 goals-against average.
In between the posts, junior goalkeeper Brittany Dinkins (Renton, WA) and first-year Natalie Hubacz (Grass Valley, CA) have each shared time. Dinkins has served as the starter while logging more than 950 minutes of action with a .786 save percentage. In addition, she has posted two shutouts and boasts 32 saves. Hubacz has provided solid support in her 488 minutes by making 40 saves with a .851 save percentage.
The Sagehens have earned the top seed after a 12-3-2 season overall and a 9-3-2 in conference play. Pomona-Pitzer picked up two shutouts over Whittier College and Chapman University last week. On the season, junior midfielder Bria VarnBuhler has delivered a team-high nine goals to attribute 18 points, which ranks second in the SCIAC. Junior defender Brianna Lau sits atop the conference with six assists.
Pomona-Pitzer's defense has been strong all year with only a 0.40 goals-against average. Junior goalkeeper Isa Berardo leads the way with 42 saves in more than 1,300 minutes of action. The Sagehens' defense has completed nine shutouts while giving up only seven goals.
In the teams' only meeting this season, Pomona-Pitzer prevailed in a 2-0 decision on Farquhar Field.
The winners of the semifinal matches will face each other in the final to be held on Saturday, November 3, at the site of the highest remaining seed. The tournament winner will earn the SCIAC's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Women's Soccer Championships.
For tickets, students and employees with a current ID from any SCIAC school are admitted for free. General admission costs $10, while senior citizens 55 and over and military personnel with ID are $5. Children under 12 receive free admission.