The University of La Verne women’s soccer team fell victim to a rigorous Redlands offensive attack losing, 2-0, to the Bulldogs last Saturday at Ben Hines Field in La Verne.
Senior forward Kasey Ernau put Redlands on the board 21 minutes into the game giving the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead. The offense of Redlands was the highlight of the first half as they dominated the possession of the ball for much of the time. The Bulldogs out shot the Leopards, 9-4, and took the 1-0 lead into the break.
ULV fell further behind in the second half when Redlands senior forward Sarah Compton scored 10 minutes in to give the Bulldogs a comfortable 2-0 lead.
Despite the goals by Redlands, the Leopard offense was stagnant at best throughout the game. It was the sixth time this year that La Verne was shutout, something most of the team admits has become a problem.
“We just have some problems finishing,” junior defenseman Amber Lejay said. “That is something that we have been struggling with all year.”
Junior goalkeeper Lauren Britt recorded five saves while Redlands goalkeeper Lindsey Fish had eight.
Most of the team admits the team’s offensive struggles have become an issue during the season but junior midfielder Katie Ford believes that her team helped Redlands’ cause.
“We made Redlands’ defense look good,” Ford said.
Much has been made of ULV’s offensive struggles in ?losses, but Lejay believes that her team is simply missing out on chances and not capitalizing on opponents’ mistakes.
Sometimes when teams struggle, teammates can divide placing blame on others, which may cause a team to freefall. Ford was adamant that this was not the case on this team.
“The talent level that we have on this team is amazing,” Ford said. “We still have good team unity.”
Another problem that players noted was not coming out strong in the first half of games. Redlands was a prime example in that the Leopards were out shot, 9-4, in the first half and really never created many scoring opportunities causing them to fall in the 1-0 hole. Ford noted that it was simply a matter of coming out harder to start games to instill the intensity in the team.
The loss dropped the Leopards to a season low record of 6-6-3 and 3-4-2 in Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play. It also smashed any such hopes of the team winning the SCIAC title and advancing to the playoffs.
Although the Leopards’ hopes for postseason play have come and gone, the team looks to relish in the spoiler role for future SCIAC opponents.
“We will do whatever we can to make it hard for other teams to win,” Ford said.
The Leopards tied Occidental on Wednesday evening and will face Cal Lutheran in a SCIAC match at 11 a.m., tomorrow in Thousand Oaks. They will then face off against Chapman in a non-conference match at 4 p.m. on Halloween in La Verne. ULV will then wrap up the season against Whittier on Wednesday.
Steven Falls can be reached at email@example.com.