REDLANDS 2-1 SANTA CRUZ
UR: 12’ LAURSEN UCSC: 89’ STEICHEN
The Redlands women’s soccer team was riding a four-game winning streak as they came into a non-league clash against UC Santa Cruz. The momentum they had garnered over the past couple of weeks carried over, as the game was dominated by the Bulldogs, beating the Banana Slugs, 2-1. However, the final score was not an indicator of the game itself, as Redlands dominated the match throughout. The victory was the program’s 200th under head coach Suzette Soboti.
It didn’t take long for the Lady Bulldogs to get on the board, as senior midfielder Savannah Laursen was able to notch her sixth goal of the year, poking the ball in after one of her teammates narrowly missed the previous shot. The Bulldogs did not let up the entire first half, taking 15 shots before the first 45 minutes came to an end.
Redlands came into the second half playing just as well, forcing the Banana Slugs to spend much of the last half playing defense on their own side of the field. Laursen was able to add another to her goal-scoring total in the 56th minute, this time pounding one in after receiving a fantastic cross by junior left back Faith Campbell to put Redlands up 2-0. The Bulldogs attempted 11 shots in the second half, giving them 26 on the day and outshooting their opponents by 20 overall.
However, the Banana Slugs were able to capitalize on one of their three shots on target, as Joelle Steichen was able to score after receiving the ball from a corner kick. But the effort was not enough for Santa Cruz, who couldn’t take another shot in the last two minutes, giving Redlands the 2-1 victory.
The goal given up by the Bulldogs’ defense was uncharacteristic, making it just the second goal the Lady Bulldogs have given up in the last five matches. Sophomore goalkeeper Hannah Menk had kind words to say about the defense that routinely makes her job easier: “Keeping our formation intact has been a huge part of the defensive game plan,” she said. “Our two backs have been very strong.”
Head Coach Suzette Soboti celebrated a milestone achievement after the game, as the victory against Santa Cruz was her 200th as the Redlands’ head coach. But in the postgame interview, all the credit for the game was given to her players. “We possessed the ball very well and were able to dominate offensively.” said Soboti. “We were able to strengthen our offense through our defense.”
The women’s soccer team goes into this last week of regular season play on top of the SCIAC standings by two points, however Soboti says the team is just focusing one day at a time. “This is the time of the year where you have to stay in the present and not look too far ahead.’’
The Bulldogs’ final home game is on Wednesday, as they will take on the La Verne Leopards on their Senior Day.
[Image courtesy of Sky Ung, Redlands Bulldog photographer]