Contact: Mark Albanese, Director of Sports Communication
GRANTHAM, Pa. - The Pacific Lutheran University women's soccer team was level with second-ranked Messiah College through the opening 70 minutes of play on Saturday before ultimately falling 1-0 to the defending national runner-up Falcons at Shoemaker Field.
"I'm really proud how we played tonight. We represented PLU on and off the field very well. I think the whole PLU sports community will be proud how we put our program up against Messiah, a five-time national champion and a very storied program," said Head Coach Seth Spidahl.
Neither side was able to find the back of the net in the opening stanza, with the host Falcons (1-0-1) owning an 8-3 edge in shots in the first half of play. Messiah's Ally Reinhardt provided what proved to be the lone score of the night in the 71st minute, sending the Lutes (1-1) their first regular season setback since Nov. 8, 2015.
PLU finished the contest with seven shots including one shot on goal.
"We had some good chances in the game. They capitalized on one, it was a good finish, but we had some really good looks too and just missed."
Natalie Robinson made six saves in goal in just the second start of her collegiate career while Messiah's Sara Yunez made one save to collect the clean sheet.
"Overall we played Messiah, one of the best programs over the last 10-15 years, toe-to-toe away from home. It was a great environment and it shows us we are competitive with the nation's best even being on the road and three time zones away. Even when we went down 1-0 we still created a couple chances. To leave here 1-1 I'm very proud of the team and hopefully these experiences serve us well when we get to the Northwest Conference season because if we can play like this we're going to be a good team this year."
The Lutes now turn their attention to the home opener, returning to the pitch on Friday for a 5:30 p.m. showdown against Evergreen State College.