LA VERNE, Calif. — The University of La Verne women's soccer has embraced late game thrillers this season.
Saturday night against the Whittier College Poets was no different. With the game tied 1-1 and under five minutes left in regulation, Katherine Obregon sent her corner kick to the far side of the box.
Alina Cobian was ready for it. The sophomore jumped and headed the ball to the back of the net to give the Leopards the lead and a 2-1 win.
"We have specific set pieces but Alina typically isn't in them since she's a center back," said Head Coach Lauryn Pehanich. "I sent her in and she put herself in a position to score and she came through for us."
Season Impact: The Leopards keep their undefeated season intact improving to 5-0-2 overall and 2-0-2 in SCIAC play. Whittier falls to 5-2 overall and 2-2 in the SCIAC.
The game displayed drama throughout the entire match. Both goals prior to Cobian's game-winner came off penalty shots.
The Leopards took the lead just 25 seconds into the second half when the Poets were called for a foul in the box. Anna Ottley drilled the penalty shot to give La Verne the opening 1-0 lead.
It looked like the initial lead would hold but the Poets caught a break in the 78th minute when the Leopards this time were called for a foul in the box. Lauren Kai took advantage and evened the game.
"We talk a lot throughout the season about composure and patience," said Pehanich. "The girls do a really good job of keeping that in their minds and not letting outside factors dictate our play."
The Leopards did just that and played patient, utilizing their set pieces until Cobian was able to capitalize.
The game stayed even in the first half with neither team able to gain control of the match. Whittier played more aggressive in the second half rattling off 10 shots in the period. But Leopard keeper Hanien Samara played big in front of the net, totaling eight saves to keep La Verne in the game.
Next Game: The Leopards hit the road Monday, September 25 when they play their first game ever against the Caltech Beavers at 4 p.m.