The University of Redlands women's soccer team hosted the Trinity Western University (CAN) Spartans in its final exhibition of the preseason on Tuesday evening under the lights at Farquhar Field. In an impressive display of relentlessness, the Bulldogs battled back on two occasions to force a 2-2 draw.
TWU jumped on the board early by taking advantage of a scrum in front of the Bulldog net. However, junior goalkeeper Brittany Dinkins (Renton, WA) made a miraculous save before a teammate blocked the Spartans' second attempt. The ball finally made its way into the net off the foot of Bella Roque in just the second minute of action.
Dinkins remained under fire throughout the first half but came up with the necessary saves to keep it a one-goal game.
In the 41st minute, the Bulldogs broke through with their first goal of the contest on a nice combination on the far side of the field. Senior forward Hayley Romo (Port Orchard, WA) recovered the ball from a TWU defender near the end line and passed it back to the top of the box where she found junior midfielder Skyla Wilson (Palm Desert, CA). Wilson immediately collected it and blasted it to the far post for a spectacular score.
During the second half, Redlands controlled the pace of play and out-shot the Spartans, 4-3. Nonetheless, TWU regained the lead at the 84th minute off a nice set piece from the corner. Once Sierra Halldorson lobbed the ball up and into the box, Makenna Dieterich got her head on it for a nice goal.
Less than five minutes later and with time running out, the Bulldogs countered again by taking advantage of a free kick from just inside the box. With perfect placement and touch, sophomore defender Abby Nordquist (Gig Harbor, WA) sent it around the wall into the upper V for a remarkable equalizer.
The Maroon and Gray continued to press in the final two minutes, earning two more shots, but the game ended in a 2-2 draw for a solid finish.
Redlands officially opens the 2018 campaign on Friday, August 31, by hosting Gustavus Adolphus College (MN) on Farquhar Field at 7 p.m.