Cal Lutheran's Season Comes to An End In NCAA First Round
Missed opportunities and a strange conclusion ended Cal
Lutheran's NCAA Tournament opening round game and season on
Saturday night. Michelle Stathatos of UC Santa Cruz scored in
overtime to provide the lone goal in a 1-0 result at William
"I just turned, saw an opening and shot it hard," said Stathatos moments prior to her game-winning goal at the 95:04 mark. "I don't really remember how I got the ball...it just took a funny bounce and got through for the goal."
A rare rainy evening in southern California may have turned a routine save into an unpredictable bounce off the turf. A slick surface, wet ball and unexpected hop may have factored into the deciding score.
It was only the fourth goal conceded by Regals goalkeeper Renee Standage in nearly 1,100 minutes of action this year. She suffered the first and only loss of her first collegiate season.
Cal Lutheran had several scoring chances including a shot off the cross bar from Nicole Rains in the final minute of regulation. Overall the home squad outshot UC Santa Cruz 16-5 and forced Banana Slugs goalkeeper Monica Chazen to make five saves.
"We just didn't make the most of our chances as we have in the past," said CLU Head Coach Frank Marino. "(Santa Cruz) deserves the credit and did a great job defending our forwards and midfielders."
The job UC Santa Cruz did was matched by only one other squad this season. The Banana Slugs and Hardin-Simmons, the defending NCAA National Champions are the only two teams to hold Cal Lutheran scoreless in a game this season.
"We played our game, stayed very disciplined, and stuck with our game plan," said UC Santa Cruz Head Coach Josh Schelhorse. "We needed to take care of the ball and make sure they didn't get good looks...for the most part we did that."
Those adjustments were made after having suffered two regular season losses to Cal Lutheran. UC Santa Cruz had dropped a pair of 2-0 decisions and six straight to the Regals heading into tonight's contest.
Cal Lutheran finishes the season 20-2-1 while UC Santa Cruz advances to play Concordia-Moorhead on Sunday, Nov. 13, at 5 p.m. at William Rolland Stadium.