by Heather Baxter
Assistant Sports Editor
A win over Pomona-Pitzer last Friday would have left the University of La Verne’s women’s soccer team in third place in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, but the Sagehens proved to be too much for the Leopards, defeating La Verne 3-2, leaving them 5-7 in SCIAC.
The Sagehens began their scoring early with three goals in the first half. Although the Leopards were able to keep the Pomona squad scoreless in the second half, their two goals would not be enough to tie or take the lead.
At 39:48, the Sagehens got on the board, with a goal by Jo Kirsch. The only other two goals of the half were scored by her teammates Lauren Salveil at 9:50 and Niccole Cerra at 7:56.
Leopard Heather Cooper attributes the loss to the rainy, muddy condition in which the teams played the game.
“The field conditions weren’t all that great. The first half was hard for us to adapt to because we kept slipping,” said Cooper.
In the second half, the La Verne squad showed some life, scoring two goals, one from Rachel Lieberman at 41:43, and another from Adrianna Ramirez at 33:06. The rest of the game was scoreless.
“Our keeper had an awesome second half. She had a lot of big saves that kept us in the game to score two goals,” said Cooper. “We may not have won the game, but our second half was one of our best this season.”
Although the Leopards lost the game, they were consistently more accurate when taking their shots than the Sagehens, taking only 13 shots to score their goals, while Pomona took 19 for their three.
Defensively ULV shone, goalkeeper Kim Schrepfer had five saves while Sagehen Ashley Thompson had seven.
The season did not finish as the Leopards might have hoped, but there are some positive aspects for players and fans to focus on.
“Overall, we did not do as well as we might have planned, but next year, everyone will see how talented of a team we have,” said Cooper. “Each player on our team could carry us to a winning season. We just weren’t used to having so man skilled players.
“Now we know what to do with one another on the field so that next year, our team will be back to win.”
With five key seniors graduating this year, including Katie Zwissler, Robin Haaker, Cara Forest, Kelly Black and Lieberman, the team is under pressure to establish their goals for next season in order to be more successful next year.