THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. -- Through 17 games it seems as though the Cal Lutheran women’s soccer team saves it best for last. The very last. Kristina Hulse out-hustled the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps goalie on a 50-50 ball and headed in the winning goal in the 87th minute as CLU won 1-0 Wednesday night. Hulse’s late score marked the sixth time in the last six games that the Regals have scored in the 85th minute or later.
Goal scoring chances were few and far to come by for the first 20 minutes of the opening half. Claremont-Mudd-Scripps nearly broke through in the 28th minute when Lauren Phillips sent in a free-kick from 35 yards out that curved down with top spin before CLU keeper Kristin Bailey was able to get a foot on it for the save.
After three off-sides calls, Cal Lutheran had its best goal opportunity in the 41st minute when Nicole Campbell dribbled up the right flank and flicked a ball through to Sierra Duarte, who collected the ball and shot, narrowly missing wide.
The teams would exchange shots in the final four minutes but entered halftime tied at 0-0.
The Athenas looked to have the go-ahead score in the 59th minute when a deflection went straight to Shaundra Ullman, who then had an open look at the goal. She put on a shot on but Mallory Carcich just got a foot on it to deflect the shot away. The subsequent rebound was fielded by Kerry Moller who also had a good opportunity to score but her shot sailed high.
CLU had another chance in the 67th minute after Taylor Will slipped a pass by two Athena defenders to a streaking Nancy Nunez. Nunez took two dribbles and had a shot go across the goal before hitting the far-post and keeping the score 0-0.
The game looked destined for overtime when Yahaira Hernandez lobbed a ball into the box in the 87th minute. With the CMS goalkeeper taking her time to field the ball on the hop, Hulse sprinted in a beat her to the ball and put a header in for the game-winning goal. Hulse’s goal was her Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) 12th of the season.
Hulse led all players with five shots while Carcich had three and Nicole Campbell had two. Along with Carcich and Hernandez, Chelsea Braudo and Anna Medler formed the rest of the defense that pitched its seventh shut-out of the season.
Bailey made three saves while Athenas keeper Hannah Dunham made seven.
With the loss, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps drops to 5-8-3 overall and 4-5-2 the SCIAC.
Cal Lutheran (14-3, 10-1 SCIAC) has now won eight straight games and sits atop the conference standings. The Regals will be back in action next Saturday, Oct. 26, when it takes on La Verne in San Dimas, Calif. at 7:00pm.