The women’s soccer team was unable to pull out a victory against Cal Lutheran on Wednesday, falling 3-1.
The match started out fairly even, both teams showed great hustle and determination.
It was Rebekah Casas of the Regals who scored in the 43rd minute of the first half in, giving Cal Lutheran a 1-0 lead.
The early goal seemed to have shaken up the Leopards’ confidence, as they were unable to finish strong during their breakaways.
“We were pretty evenly matched, but today we had a lot of trouble with our breakaways, we just couldn’t finish and go all the way,” senior midfielder Ashley Vanga said.
The Regals almost capitalized off of a breakaway during the 34th minute, but it was sophomore goalkeeper Gloria Escalante who skillfully saved the ball from being headed into the goal.
Heading the ball was a pattern for the Cal Lutheran girls, as they moved the ball down the field without it touching the ground multiple times during the first half.
The Leopards seemed to have a tough time with the Regals’ defense, resulting in Cal Lutheran out-shooting the La Verne.
Midfielder/forward Kristin Cameron of the Regals came close to scoring yet another goal, but with the help of the Leopards’ defense the ball was intercepted as the shot barely missed the goal post.
As the game progressed the aggression between both teams seemed to escalate.
“When teams are fairly matched a lot of aggression comes out, and you just have to do what you have to do,” freshman forward Olga Saldivar said.
The Leopards came out strong in the second half.
The aggressive force the Leopards exuded led to a sweeping goal in the 41st minute by freshmen Julia Borges, who scored her first goal of the season. Evening out the score 1-1.
Many felt that referees were favoring the Regals, and it was apparent by the boos coming from not only the La Verne bench, but also the “Leotic” fans sitting in the stands.
“Our girls battled really well today, but the referees definitely robbed us this game,” head coach Wendy Zwissler said.
The competitiveness kept rising during the game and was further escalated as freshman forward Nancy Rodriguez forcefully took down a Regals player.
After an intense rally of head ball and a near goal for the Leopards, freshman midfielder Jess Armstrong walked away with a kick to the head, resulting in a head injury.
During the seventh minute Regals freshman midfielder Audrey Dow secured the lead by scoring a goal, giving Cal Lutheran a 2-1 lead.
Within the same minute, Regals forward Kristina Hulse was fouled in the box, resulting in a penalty kick, which put La Verne away for good with a final score of 3-1.
Despite the loss, the Leopards were not too upset.
“I’m proud of our girls, they played like a team today, no matter what though, we have a very young and talented group of girls, they’re going to be good,” Zwissler said.
The Leopards are now 1-10-1 overall, and 0-8-1 in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
They play their next game against at 1 p.m. tomorrow at Ben Hines Field against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (9-3-3).
Christopher Barnes-Baxter can be reached at email@example.com.