SANTA CRUZ, Calif. — Maribel Duran scored her first goal of the season in the 29th minute to carry the University of La Verne women's soccer team past Whitworth on Saturday afternoon at Lower East Field.
The Leopards improve to 2-1-1 on the season while the Pirates fall to 2-2.
Both teams were on fast turnarounds, with each having played on Friday, but neither side showed any fatigue as they traded six shots in the game's opening 18 minutes.
But it was Duran and the Leopards who managed to find the only opening of the game. Duran sprinted onto a good over-the-top ball by Alexa Smith, took one touch to settle and slotted it far post for the game winner.
Whitworth had a golden opportunity to tie the game in the 67th minute as it earned a penalty kick. But La Verne freshman goalkeeper Jasmine Valadez came up massive to save Tiara Pajimola's attempt and preserve the lead for the Leopards. It was Valadez's first collegiate appearance and she finished with five saves.
It was the second clean sheet in a row for the Leopards following a scoreless draw with UC Santa Cruz on Friday.
While the Pirates outshot the Leopards, 15-11, both teams registered five shots on goal each.
La Verne returns to action on Wednesday at 7 p.m. when it begins SCIAC play against Occidental at Ortmayer Stadium.