Thousand Oaks, Calif. – Freshman midfielder Julia Dohner (Bethesda, Md. - pictured) scored her second goal of the game 1:41 into the first overtime as the fourth-seeded Pomona-Pitzer Women's Soccer team upset top-seeded Cal Lutheran 2-1 on Wednesday in the SCIAC semifinals.
The win improves Pomona-Pitzer's record to 9-6-2 overall (including 4-0-1 in its last five games)and it will move on to face Chapman in the SCIAC Championship on Saturday at Chapman (time to be determined) for the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Cal Lutheran falls to 17-4 and will await a possible at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.
The game-winner came in just the second minute of the first overtime as a loose ball bounced around inside the 18-yard box. Dohner was in the right position along the left edge, and turned and hit a 12-yarder towards the near post. Goalkeeper Kristin Bailey went down to try to block it and got a piece of it, but the ball had enough pace to get by her and into the net for the game-winner.
Dohner also scored the tying goal midway through the second half to force the extra session. Senior defender Claire Mueller (Lincoln, Neb.) got inside the right side of the box and sent a shot over the head of goalkeeper Kristin Bailey, which hit off the crossbar. The loose ball, though, found the feet of Dohner, who finished from six yards out to knot the score with 23:10 to play.
Dohner came into the game with only goal on the year, doubling her output in her first career postseason game.
After an uneventful first half in which neither team had a shot on goal, Cal Lutheran struck for a quick 1-0 lead in the second half when Nicole Rains scored off a pass from Mayra Virgen just 2:08 after intermission, finding the lower-left corner of the net from the top of the box.
It was the first goal the Sagehens had allowed since their last trip to Cal Lutheran, when Virgen scored the game-winner in the 87th minute back on Oct. 13. In between, Pomona-Pitzer had four straight shutouts in a 3-0-1 closing stretch, to rally from out of the playoffs into the fourth seed.
Pomona-Pitzer had the best chance to win the game in regulation as Allie Tao (Alamo, Calif.) broke in from a sharp angle on the right side and tried to tuck a 10-yard shot inside the near post, but it hit off the frame and went out of bounds for a goal kick.
Cal Lutheran finished with a narrow 10-9 edge in shots, although its only shot on target was its goal, as freshman goalkeeper Helena Epps (Santa Cruz, Calif.) played all 92 minutes without a save. Bailey had two saves for the Regals.
The Sagehens split the regular season series with Chapman, with each team winning on the other's home field. Pomona-Pitzer won at Chapman 2-1 back on Sept. 15 on a tiebreaking goal from Tao, while the Panthers took the rematch in Claremont 1-0 on Oct. 10.