WHITTIER, Calif. — In soccer, you don't always have to be in your top form to earn a result.
The University of La Verne women's soccer team was on the right side of the equation on Saturday night, earning a 2-1 win over Whittier at Graham Soccer Field.
La Verne improves to 2-4-0 overall and 1-1-0 in the SCIAC. Whittier falls to 3-2-1 and 1-1-0.
The Leopards, who have been unlucky in front of the net in the early going, scored two in a rapid succession on Saturday night. A penalty kick was just what the Leopards neeeded to kickstart their offense. Megan Hodgson converted a spot kick in the 69th minute to give the Leopards 1-0 lead and before the Poets had a chance to regroup, Alexa Smith struck for her first goal of the season off an assist from Kindal Cubak put La Verne up, 2-0.
The momentum seemed to be on La Verne's side, but the game didn't end without drama. Whittier's Andrea Aldama scored in the 88th minute to get the Poets within a goal but the Leopards clamped down on defense to secure the win.
The Poets dominated the run of play and looked to be the more dangerous side for most of the match. Whittier outshot La Verne, 19-8, on the game and drew six corner kicks to La Verne's two.
Whittier put nine of their shots on frame but La Verne goalkeeper Heather Seman was up to the task. The senior netminder saved a total of eight shots to keep the Leopards and was especially impressive to close the first half and to begin the second. Seman turned away Aldama in the 38th minute and saved a shot from Miranda Yzabal 50 seconds later to preserve the tie going into the break and made three saves in the first 15 minutes of the second half energize her team.
The Leopards are back in action on Wednesday night at Redlands