by J.R. Gonsalves
The University of La Verne women’s soccer team traveled to Occidental last Saturday and came away with a 4-2 victory that gave it a strong 12-3 record. Despite the win, the Leopards may not get a playoff berth.
There are only two teams chosen from the Division III Western Region and since the Leopards have not beaten Cal Lutheran and do not play UC San Diego this year, their record does not make a difference.
Against Occidental, the Leopards played strong with freshman mid-fielder Katie Zwissler leading the way for La Verne with two goals and one assist.
“We played very well,” said head coach Wendy Zwissler. “We are starting to play more as a team.”
The team’s play was reflected in the goal and assist distribution. Three players scored four goals – Zwissler, junior forward Angel Mejico and freshman defender Cara Forrest. Freshman mid-fielder Rachel Lieberman had two assists and Zwissler and senior mid-fielder Deanna Kodama each had one.
“We kept our composure,” said Mejico.
The Leopards played a solid game against Occidental and if the playoffs were an option, the game against Whittier would be the deciding factor. On Wednesday, the Leopards played the Whittier Poets, and started where they left off against Occidental.
The Leopards pressed against Whittier and crushed them, 7-1.
“We crashed the net,” said Mejico who scored the Leopards first goal of the afternoon on an assist from Lieberman.
It was the last home game of the season and for the seniors it was the last home game of their careers. All of the seniors got playing time.
“This game was for the seniors to end on a good note,” said Black who scored a goal and had an assist in the game.
Senior Amber Hall scored her first-ever goal as a Leopard defender.
“It was a good ending for a four year career at La Verne,” said Hall.
The Leopards scored at will and the ULV defense held the Poets to one goal.
“We get along on and off of the field,” said Black. “When we go out we all go out together. That helps us to know each other.”
The Leopards’ chemistry is coming together, but it does not look like the Leopards are going to make the playoffs, despite having only three losses on the season.
“They only take two teams out of the West and with California Lutheran and the University of California San Diego still in Division III and in the West, it makes it very difficult for us to get into the playoffs,” said Hall.
The Leopards have two more games left. One today, at Menlo and the second tomorrow at UC Santa Cruz.