Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
WHITTIER, Calif. – It was the last game of the first round of conference competition and the Whittier College women's soccer team lost some ground on fourth place Redlands behind a 3-0 loss to the Bulldogs on Wednesday evening.
A win by the Poets (3-5-2, 1-4-1 SCIAC) would have moved them into a tie with Redlands for the final conference playoff position.
The Bulldogs (5-6, 3-3 SCIAC) had several first half opportunities to score but the Whittier defense held strong. Megan Wessel accounted for 13 saves on the night; seven of which came in the first 45 minutes. Redlands finally broke through in the 31st minute on an unassisted goal by Jaimie Morton.
The Bulldogs played a corner into the box where a first touch header went wide of the net. Redlands had another header but Wessel turned it aside. However, she was unable to corral the ball and Morton put it in the back of the net for the eventual game winner.
The Bulldogs struck again just 4:55 into the second half on an Emily Birzak goal. She finished a feed from Leslie Horner at 49:55. The final goal of the evening was recorded at 51:59 and came unassisted off a free kick. Chelsea Hafley beat Wessel to the near post for the insurance strike.
Stephanie Bergstrom and Shelly Johiro each tested the keeper in second half but couldn't find a goal. Bergstrom saw her header miss just wide of the near post while Johiro fired just off frame from 20 yards off the top of the box.
Redlands outshot the Poets 31-5 for the game and had three corner kicks to zero for Whittier.
The Poets will return to action on Saturday, October 9, as they host Pomona-Pitzer at 1 pm.