Poets battle but fall to Lutes in NCAA Regional

Poets battle but fall to Lutes in NCAA Regional

Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – The Whittier College Women's Soccer team exited the NCAA Championships Division III West Regional Saturday night as they were shutout 4-0 by Pacific Lutheran.

The Purple & Gold wrap up their 2017 season at 12-9, 6-8 SCIAC, posting the most wins in a single season by Head Coach Monica Gerardo, while earning the program's first Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Post Season Tournament Title.

No. 2 Pacific Lutheran now takes on No. 1 Cal Lutheran University tonight for the bid into the Sweet Sixteen.  That game will be played at 7:00pm.

Pacific Lutheran put three shots on goal in the first half, all coming in the first 18 minutes.  All three found the back of the goal, all coming on headers. 

The first coming from Kaylie Rozell in the first three minutes who headed in the eventual game-winner after a pass from Rachel Ross.  Then in the 14th minute, Ross was on the other end collecting a header off a cross from Megan Anderson moving the score to 2-0.  They continued to add to their lead soon after when Kelsey Hathaway sent in a cross into the box, which found the head of Machaela Graddy near post.  This put PLU up 3-0 at the half.

After a goalie change for the Poets in the second half, which brought in Stella Thermos (Seal Beach, Calif.), the Poets settled down and found their offense taking five shots, while limiting the Lutes to just one.  Thermos picked up three saves over the final 45:00 minutes but surrendered the fourth goal by PLU, which was unlucky as she fell in the box attempting to make a stop.

Whittier outshot Pacific Lutheran 9-7 for the game, but was at a disadvantage on corner kicks at 4-3.  They tested the Lute keeper Natalie Robinson who finished with six saves but couldn't get anything past her. 

Lauren Kai (Torrance, Calif.) took four shots for the game with two being on goal, while Leah Kolek (Diamond Bar, Calif.) and Miranda Yzabal (Whittier, Calif.) took two shots apiece.