The University of Redlands women's soccer team shouldered a tough 2-3 loss to the Panthers of Chapman University in a Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) battle on Wednesday night on Farquhar Field.
The Panthers gained an early advantage with a goal off of a corner kick in the 11th minute. Chapman kept up the pressure with another four shots over the next 10 minutes, but two of them were saved by senior goalkeeper Brittany Dinkins (Renton, WA).
Despite the Panthers' aggressiveness, junior midfielder Eva Vlassopoulos (Portland, OR) found sophomore defender Ashley Holbrook (Moraga, CA), who knocked the ball in over the goalkeepers head from 35 yards out to knot the game at 1-1 with 24 minutes left in the half.
Redlands' defense made big stops down the stretch of the half to keep the Panthers off the board. Sophomore defender Rilee Mezenen (Salt Lake City, UT) hustled back to knock the ball away on a Panther's counter-attack in the 31st minute. In addition, Dinkins made another big save in the 38th to send the teams into halftime tied at one-apiece.
In the second half, Chapman took control with two quick goals in the first three minutes to make it 3-1.
However, senior forward Alexa Groesser (Denver, CO) earned a free-kick from 35 yards out that nearly snuck in, but the Chapman goalkeeper leaped up to make the save. On the counter from the Panthers, first-year goalkeeper Courtney Stewart (San Jose, CA) was forced out of the box on a 1-on-1 scenario and came away with a diving save to avert danger. She found herself in a similar predicament in the 71st minute and rose to the occasion once again with a tough save to stop another Chapman attack.
Redlands picked up the pace down the stretch, which awarded Groesser to earn another chance at a free-kick. This time, she sent a low shot from the left flank that snuck past the Panthers' defense and into the goal to cut the gap to 2-3. Junior defender Abby Nordquist (Gig Harbor, WA) took one more shot as time expired, but it went high, resulting in a tough loss for the Bulldogs.
Redlands (5-4-3, 2-2-3 SCIAC) remains at home to face Cal Lutheran University on Saturday, October 12, at 11 a.m.