Pacific Women’s Soccer Earns Draw with #16 Cal
A first half goal from Lauren Olvera looked to be enough to give the Pacific women's soccer team a win over #16 California, but the Golden Bears' Emi Lawson scored with three minutes left in regulation to force overtime. After a scoreless 20 minutes, the two teams finished with a 1-1 draw in double overtime Sunday afternoon at Edwards Stadium.
"We're happy with how hard we played, especially after giving up the late goal. They're a very good team, but we rebounded and we're able to get our focus back," head coach Keith Coleman said. "To go to the number 16 team and get the tie is something we feel good about. It's frustrating that we were that close to pulling out a win. But there's nothing frustrating about how we played as team. It shows we're making progress."
The Tigers record now stands at 2-4-2, with only one loss to an unranked opponent. Cal remains unbeaten at 5-0-3.
In the 39th minute, Pacific took the lead following a corner kick by sophomore midfielder Laura Hernandez. After her serve into the box was knocked down by Cal's Megan Jesolva. But Olvera, a sophomore forward, collected the loose ball and hooked a shot into the upper left corner from 25 yards out, past Cal goalkeeper Lauren Hein.
With a 1-0 Pacific lead, the Bears found themselves trailing in a match for the first time all season, after leading or being tied for 708:38.
From that point on, it was up to the Tigers defense to hold off a Bear attack that had out-scored opponents 23-5 entering the match and had racked up 19 goals in their previous four matches. Cal entered this weekend fourth in the NCAA in scoring offense
Pacific withstood a barrage in the second half, as the Bear attack fired off 12 shots, including eight on goal. But the Tigers goalkeeping tandem of redshirt senior Jill Medigovich and freshman Tashia Long made eight consecutive saves, including six by Long, to retain the lead into the 87th minute.
However, at the 86:44 mark, Cal's Kate Bennett placed a corner kick into the box, and off the scramble for the loose ball, Emi Lawson tucked a shot off the underside of the crossbar and in to level the match.
Long stopped a shot by Kaitlyn Fitzpatrick with 1:01 remaining and the game headed to extra time.
In the overtime, Long denied Cal's Alex Morgan, the NCAA's leading goal scorer with 10 this season, in the 92nd minute, and Cal's only other scoring opportunity, a shot by Emily Shibata, sailed high.
For the match, Cal held a 19-5 advantage in shots on goal, including a 13-3 margin in shots on goal. Medigovich stopped all four shots on goal she faced, while Long tallied eight saves.
"Our defense is playing great," Coleman added. "Jill had a really good first half and Tashia had a great second half. Overall, we did a good job against their offense. It was a defender who came forward to get the goal, and it was a perfectly placed shot."
Hein didn't register a save and was subbed out at halftime, trailing 1-0. Replacement keeper Emily Kruger stopped a pair of Pacific shots on goal.
Sophomore midfielder Maricela Padilla's attempt in the 77th minute was saved by Kruger, as was an attempt by junior midfielder Nydia Ramos in the 85th.
After playing seven of their first eight matches on the road, the Tigers return to Stagg Memorial Stadium on Friday to face Montana at 7 p.m. on Latino Sports Heroes night. At halftime, Latino student-athletes, including women's soccer players Padilla and Angelica Figueroa (Mexico) and Laura Hernandez (Columbia), will be recognized. On Sunday, Sept. 26, Pacific will play host to Hawai'i in a rare second regular-season meeting, at 11:00 a.m.
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