LA VERNE, Calif. — The University of La Verne women's soccer team knows how to keep fans interested to the very last second.
With 18 seconds remaining in regulation, junior Juna Bouchekara gathered a loose ball at the top of the box and fired it passed the Occidental keeper to give the Leopards a 3-2 win at Ortmayer Stadium Wednesday night.
Season Impact: The Leopards improve to 8-2-3 overall and 4-3-2 in the SCIAC, winning their seventh one-goal game of the season. Occidental drops to 5-5-1 and 3-5-1 in the conference. La Verne currently sits in third place in the SCIAC standings.
With the clock winding down, senior Jessica Hernandez broke away and it looked like she'd have a clean shot at the goal. But Occidental's defenders caught up and poked the ball away and for a moment it looked like the Leopards would head into to fifth overtime game of the season.
But Bouchekara took possession of the ball and played the hero for La Verne.
After the teams went into the break even 1-1, Occidental scored the opening goal of the second half on a shot Molly Callans in the 72nd minute.
Eight minutes later, Hannah Leone lined up for a corner kick with her teammates waiting in the box. Defender Alina Cobian played on the far side of the box and headed the ball to the near side of the net to even the game 2-2. The goal was nearly identical to the game-winner Cobian scored against Whittier College that earned the sophomore SCIAC Athlete of the Week honors.
Occidental took the opening lead in the 27th minute off a nice shot by Dylan Wensley from 20 yards out.
Jasmine Valadez came up with some big plays for the Leopards totaling seven saves in the match.
Next Game: La Verne takes on Pomona-Pitzer at Ortmayer Stadium this Saturday at 7:30 p.m. The Leopards and Sagehens tied 2-2 when they met earlier this season.