SPOKANE, Wash. – The National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) No. 21 Cal Lutheran women’s soccer team opened the 2013 season with a tough 2-1 loss at the hands of the Whitworth Pirates on the road this afternoon.
With six new faces in the starting line-up, the Regals clearly controlled the ball, outshooting Whitworth 21-7and earning 13 corner kicks while allowing none, though the Violet and Gold came up short in the first game of the season.
Whitworth jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first eight minutes of action with Tiara Pajimola and Kristin Wucherer scoring, respectively, at the 4:47 and 7:29 marks to put the host team at an early advantage.
Cal Lutheran battled throughout the remainder of the opening period and seven seconds before the halftime buzzer sounded freshman Nicole Campbell scored the first collegiate goal of her career, also marking the first CLU goal of the season, on an assisted from senior Kristina Hulse to cut the deficit in half entering the break.
In the second half, the Regals had ample opportunities early, outshooting the Pirates by a 7-1 margin over the first 16 minutes, but were unable to connect. During that stretch CLU earned a pair of corner kicks, taken by junior transfer Yahiara Hernandez.
Pepperdine transfer Bianca Deardorff led all players with five shots for CLU with four on target. Brittany Eremita and Hulsehad four opportunities apiece and combined for five shots on goal. Campbell took three shots and freshman Alli Calabrese and senior Bailey Marquez added a pair apiece. Rounding out the attempts for the Regals was Hernandez who recorded one.
Kristin Bailey manned the cage for all 90 minutes in the season opener, turning away one shot in the first half.
Making her first appearance in the Violet and Gold today were Calabrese, Deardorff, Hernandez, Chelsea Braudo, Sierra Labossiere-Duarte and Elena Rust. Campbell came off the bench as the only other player to participate in her first game for CLU in the contest.
Pirates’ goalie Andrea Stump recorded nine saves. The second Whitworth goal came via an assist from Megan McCart who kicked the ball into the goal area before Wucherer punched it into the back of the net.
Cal Lutheran (0-1) will meet sister school Pacific Lutheran tomorrow, Aug. 31 in a quick turnaround with kickoff set for noon.