Cal Lutheran Stunned by Sudden Ending
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. - Missed opportunities and a strange conclusion ended Cal Lutheran's NCAA Tournament opening round game and season on Saturday night. Michelle Stathatos of UC Santa Cruz scored in overtime to provide the lone goal in a 1-0 result at William Rolland Stadium.
Box Score: UCSC 1, CLU 0 - F/OT
Box Score: CM 1, UPS 1 - F/PKH
"I just turned, saw an opening and shot it hard," said Stathatos moments prior to her game-winning goal at the 95:04 mark. "I don't really remember how I got the ball...it just took a funny bounce and got through for the goal."
A rare rainy evening in southern California may have turned a routine save into an unpredictable bounce off the turf. A slick surface, wet ball and unexpected hop may have factored into the deciding score.
It was only the fourth goal conceded by Regals goalkeeper Renee Standage in nearly 1,100 minutes of action this year. She suffered the first and only loss of her first collegiate season.
Cal Lutheran had several scoring chances including a shot off the cross bar from Nicole Rains in the final minute of regulation. Overall the home squad outshot UC Santa Cruz 16-5 and forced Banana Slugs goalkeeper Monica Chazen to make five saves.
"We just didn't make the most of our chances as we have in the past," said CLU Head Coach Frank Marino. "(Santa Cruz) deserves the credit and did a great job defending our forwards and midfielders."
The job UC Santa Cruz did was matched by only one other squad this season. The Banana Slugs and Hardin-Simmons, the defending NCAA National Champions are the only two teams to hold Cal Lutheran scoreless in a game this season.
"We played our game, stayed very disciplined, and stuck with our game plan," said UC Santa Cruz Head Coach Josh Schelhorse. "We needed to take care of the ball and make sure they didn't get good looks...for the most part we did that."
Those adjustments were made after having suffered two regular season losses to Cal Lutheran. UC Santa Cruz had dropped a pair of 2-0 decisions and six straight to the Regals heading into tonight's contest.
Cal Lutheran finishes the season 20-2-1 while UC Santa Cruz advances to play Concordia-Moorhead on Sunday, Nov. 13, at 5 p.m. at William Rolland Stadium.
Concordia-Moorhead 1, Puget Sound 1 - F/PKH
Concordia-Moorhead and Puget Sound were deadlocked 1-1 through regulation and after a pair of 10-minute overtime frames. A shootout was needed to determine which team would advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Puget Sound missed its first two attempts while Concordia-Moorhead made both of its tries. The Loggers missed their fourth attempt and the Cobbers moved on 3-1 in PK's.
UPS led throughout a majority of this evenly matched game after Jenny Moore made a run down the right side of the Concordia defense. She put the Loggers up in the 18th minute providing a one-goal cushion that would last for nearly an hour of game time.
The Cobbers earned a free kick near the right post of the 18-yard box. Sarah Rounds curled her right-footed shot away and out of the reach of goalkeeper Kara Merfeld to score the equalizer in the 75th minute.
"I have taken a lot of free kicks around the top of the (18-yard) box this season, but haven't had one go my way" said Rounds as she approached her shot. "I really focused and knew we needed a big goal."
The timely score eventually forced extra time and penalty kicks. Kelsey Swagger, Rounds, and Libby Fransdal successively converted their penalty kick shootout attempts in sending the Cobbers to the next round.