The University of Redlands women's soccer team prevailed over the Bearcats of Willamette University (OR), 2-1, during Friday night's exciting battle on Farquhar Field. Senior forward Skyla Wilson (Palm Desert, CA) and sophomore midfielder Nolan Mendonca (San Diego, CA) each notched their first goals for the Maroon and Gray in the non-conference win.
Redlands put pressure on the Bearcats early with a shot in the opening minute of the contest. The Bulldogs remained aggressive throughout the period, which paid dividends in the 24th minute when Wilson sank her inaugural goal on a well-placed cross from junior forward Emily Falla (Woodinville, WA). She received the ball in space and one-touched it into the back of the net for the 1-0 lead.
However, less than a minute later, Willamette answered by scoring the equalizer to make it 1-1.
Nonetheless, the Bulldogs continued to create opportunities by firing off five out of the next six shots. Their ensuing chance in the 39th minute resulted in the go-ahead goal and eventual game-winner from Mendonca on a scramble inside the box.
Senior goalkeeper Brittany Dinkins (Renton, WA) stopped the Bearcats on their next possession with a solid save to help Redlands take a 2-1 lead into the break.
The Bulldogs' defense executed a solid second half and preserved the one-goal lead. Redlands forced two wide shots and came up with a defensive block in the first six minutes of the period. With momentum on the Maroon and Gray's side, Wilson nearly notched her second goal of the game in the 70th minute when she put a quality shot on net, but the Willamette goalkeeper made the save.
First-year goalkeeper Courtney Stewart (San Jose, CA) did her job to preserve the lead with a nice save on the Bearcats' only shot on goal in the half. Willamette attempted its final attempt in the 89th minute that went wide, resulting in a 2-1 victory for the Bulldogs.
As a team, the Maroon and Gray earned an 18-13 shot advantage and also won the corner kick battle, 3-0.
Redlands (3-0) concludes its four-game home stretch on Saturday, September 7, against Pacific Lutheran University (WA) at 7 p.m. on Farquhar Field.