THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. - Mayra Virgen’s goal in the 87th minute was the difference as Cal Lutheran slugged it out with a scrappy Pomona-Pitzer team Saturday afternoon, winning 2-1.
“We just couldn’t get into a rhythm offensively,” head coach Frank Marino said.
“Give Pomona-Pitzer credit, they played their tails off and really played well so we were fortunate to walk away with a win.”
Pomona-Pitzer maintained most of the possession in the first half and nearly scored on a corner-kick in the 27th minute but goalkeeper Kristin Bailey made a finger-tip save.
CLU struggled to generate much of an attack until Taylor Will connected on a volley coming from a Mayra Virgen cross for the first goal of the game in the 25th minute.
The teams tussled back and forth out for the rest of the first half as CLU had five shots while Pomona-Pitzer had four going into intermission.
The Regals nearly scored early in the second half when the ball ricocheted off a Pomona defender but Kristina Hulse couldn’t quite put a foot on it.
In the second half, Pomona-Pitzer finally got rewarded with their aggressiveness during the 53rd minute, when Sam Thompson collected a ball that deflected off two Regal defenders and shot across the goal, past the outstretched arms of Bailey and tied the game up 1-1.
With momentum against them, the Regals buckled down in the latter stages of the second half and kept believing.
“I was disappointed we played poorly for some extended period of time but we didn’t let that get us down and the girls kept plugging away,” Coach Marino said.
CLU looked as if it had the game-winner in the 85th minute when Kristina Hulse fired a shot low shot to the near-post only to see Sagehen goalkeeper Helena Epps make a tremendous save
Undaunted, Cal Lutheran finally came through with the game-winner two minutes later when Stephanie Gilbert played a through ball from the back up to Hulse, who found an open Virgen in the box and the forward connected on a one-touch that sailed past the goalkeeper and into the goal, giving the Regals to go ahead goal with just three minutes remaining.
Cal Lutheran hung on for the win and improved their record to 14-2 overall and 10-0 in the SCIAC. Pomona-Pitzer drops to 5-6-1 overall and 4-5-1 in the SCIAC.
With the win and the Chapman loss, Cal Lutheran has now guaranteed themselves a spot in the SCIAC post-season tournament
The Regals are back in action next Wednesday, Oct 17, when Occidental comes to Rolland Stadium with kickoff set for 7:30 p.m.
Box Score: CLU 2 P-P 1