Lutes Look To Find Form In Tough Non-Conference Matchup
THIS WEEK: The Pacific Lutheran University women's soccer team faces a tough test ahead when it hosts east coast power Montclair State University in an important non-conference match this weekend. The game will be the second preseason match for the Lutes, after they lost 3-0 to California Lutheran in the home opener last weekend.
READ ON THE REDHAWKS: Entering Saturday's contest, Montclair State is riding a three-game winning streak to open the 2011 season. In wins over Stevens (2-1, OT), Mt. St. Vincent (8-0), and John Jay (8-0), the Redhawks boast an impressive +17 goal differential thus far and have only given up one goal. Led by froshes Francesca Gibson (six goals) and Melanie Greco (three goals, one assist), the Redhawks are likely to bring an offensive arsenal on their visit to the Pacific Northwest this weekend. MSU has experienced ebbs and flows in their record over the past couple seasons, ranging from 13-7-3 in 2006 down to 7-8-3 in 2010. With the quick start the Redhawks have taken to the 2011 season, they are sure to threaten the Lutes come Saturday. The match will be the first between the schools, and will give the Lutes a good benchmark of where they stand now and what they must improve upon before Northwest Conference play commences next weekend. The match will be played at 1 p.m., with the men's contest against the University of St. Thomas following at 4 p.m.
RECIPE FOR SUCCESS: As the season just begins to take off for the Lutes, the first-year players are already showing their importance for the team. In the game against Cal Lutheran, two newcomers, Erin Nobach and Blake Warner, got the start for the Parkland outfit, with five other first-years coming off the bench and seeing key minutes in the contest. For the Lutes to have success in 2011, the mixture of youth and veteran experience must be just right to see the program rebound from the past several years of disappointing results. This will be put to the test early in the season when the Montclair State University Redhawks visit PLU for a non-conference match this Saturday.
CAL LUTHERAN 3, PLU 0: Pacific Lutheran stayed with Cal Lutheran for a half on Sunday, but the visiting Regals netted a trio of second-half goals in defeating the Lutes, 3-0, in the women's soccer season opener for both teams at the PLU soccer field. The match was scoreless through the first 45 minutes as the PLU defense limited the visitors to just six shots. Lutes senior keeper Lauren Chambard kept the Regals off the board with one minute left in the period, rising to tip Sinead Vaughan's goal-bound curling drive around the far post. Cal Lutheran, the defending Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference champion, dominated second-half possession as evidenced by a 16-0 advantage in shots. Lindsay Armenta put the Regals on the board just 1:06 into the second half, knocking home a rebound from Jess Armstrong's corner kick. Kristina Hulse made it 2-0 at 50:34, settling Kirsten DiPippo's entry pass in the box before turning and firing past Chambard. The final goal came at 83:34 when Kristin Cameron intercepted an attempted clearance near the top of the box and hit a rocket into the upper part of the goal. The Lutes managed just one shot, a long-range first-half effort by Olivia Lee that was high and wide of the goal. Cal Lutheran keepers Tina Hedwall and Renee Standage each played 45 minutes without having to make a save.
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