Weerasinghe’s Golden Goal Lifts Bulldog Women’s Soccer past Chapman
Senior forward Lihini Weerasinghe (Redlands, CA) scored in the ninth minute of overtime on Saturday evening to lead the University of Redlands women's soccer team to an exciting 1-0 victory over Chapman University at Farquhar Field. For the Bulldogs, it was the squad's first win of the season.
In the first 45 minutes, the U of R set the tempo and fired off shot after shot. Chapman junior goalkeeper Marissa Fehrman (Las Vegas, NV) was up to the challenge, however, racking up seven saves during the first half. By the halftime break, the Bulldogs had outshot the Panthers, 9-1.
Utilizing a number of different players, the U of R showed its depth in the second stanza, continuing to create a number of opportunities with varying combinations of players on the field. Both teams came close to scoring in a back-and-forth second half, but once again, neither team found the breakthrough. Redlands sophomore goalkeeper Lexi Felix (Kailua, HI) came up with two big saves in a row from point-blank range in the 48th minute to keep the Panthers off the scoreboard.
Scoreless after 90 minutes, both teams geared up for the golden-goal overtime periods. In the ninth minute of the first overtime, sophomore midfielder Summer Norquist (Boise, ID) fired a shot towards goal, but once again Fehrman was there to parry it away.
Staying with the play, the Maroon and Gray got to the loose ball first, sent a cross into the mixer and watched as it was headed away by Chapman. The ball only went as far as Weerasinghe's feet, however, and she blasted a shot from the right side of the box into the top-left corner of the net, ending the game and giving the Bulldogs their first win of their young season. For Weerasinghe, it was her team-leading second goal on the campaign.
On the night, the U of R outshot Chapman, 16-8, and held the advantage in corner kicks, 4-3. Senior goalkeeper Sabrina Grandke-Bawab (Kirkland, WA) and Felix combined for the Bulldogs first shutout of the year, registering five saves between the two.
Weerasinghe and sophomore midfielder Savannah Laursen (Boise, ID) led Redlands' attack on the evening, tallying four shots apiece, while Norquist and junior forward Tanya Haggen (Bellingham, WA) provided three shots each.
Redlands (1-4-1, 1-1-0 SCIAC) looks forward to taking on the University of La Verne on Wednesday, September 25. Kickoff in La Verne is scheduled for 7 p.m.