ORANGE, Calif. – An offensive outburst in the second half clinched a postseason berth for the Chapman University women's soccer team, who defeated La Verne 3-1 on Saturday at Wilson Field. The victory gives the reigning champion Panthers a chance to defend their SCIAC postseason tournament title in a match up against first-place Cal Lutheran on Wednesday.
Three unanswered goals in a span of 22 minutes in the second half highlighted the 'Senior Night' win for the Panthers, who needed a victory in their final match to move past La Verne (9-10-1 overall, 6-7-1 SCIAC) for the final playoff spot. Chapman (10-8-7 overall, 7-7 SCIAC) came into the contest losers of three straight, but outscored its goal total from those three matches combined over the 22-minute span en route to the triumph.
Sophomore M Haley Fedden broke the scoreless tie in the 60th minute, driving the ball into the top corner of the net, just past the outstretched hand of La Verne GK Delanie Pacheco. The goal was Fedden's fourth on the season, with three of those coming against the Leopards.
Not comfortable with a one goal lead and their playoff hopes on the line, the Panthers maintained their intensity and it paid off as junior M Olivia Do put a well-placed pass from senior D Mandi Williams into the back of the net. Do was in the middle of the action 11 minutes later, feeding freshman M Katie Bell with a picture-perfect assist that Bell drove past Pacheco to give the Panthers a 3-0 lead.
Freshman GK Kristin Kleinow, starting just her fifth match of the season, held the Leopards scoreless for 89 minutes, giving her teammates the opportunity to mount the memorable second-half run. A late goal from Marisella Macias spoiled Kleinow's shutout, but served as a mere footnote to Chapman's clutch effort in the do-or-die match.
The Panthers will travel to Cal Lutheran for the first round of the SCIAC Postseason Tournament on Thursday. The match against the Regals is slated to start at 7 p.m.
by Ryan Cavinder
Sports Information Assistant