Oct. 14, 2012
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LOS ANGELES - After being held scoreless in their last two matches, the LMU women's soccer team broke out with a trio of goals Sunday, matching its season high on its way to a 3-2 West Coast Conference win over visiting Saint Mary's.
The Lions move to 7-5-2 overall and 1-2-0 in in WCC while the Gaels drop to 6-7-2 overall and 1-2-0 in league play.
LMU had succumb to back-to-back 1-0 losses to start WCC play, but immediately put those results behind them Sunday beginning with a goal by Emily Maletis just 11 minutes into the match.
Freshman Jocelyn Blankenship received a pass from the backfield and carried it up the left flank. After working her way past a Gael defender, Blankenship sent a low cross to the front of the goalmouth where Maletis was making her run. Maletis one-touched the ball past SMC keeper Kate Brenot for the early 1-0 lead.
The Gaels quickly countered, however, as Christina Tognetti fed Melinda Madden just outside the top of the box for a 20-yard strike at the 13:23 mark.
Blankenship gave the lead back to LMU in the 37th minute when she took a pass from Cassidy Nicks on the left side of the box and sent a left-footed shot towards the far post past Brenot.
Momentum stayed in the Lions favor to begin the second half as they made it 3-1 with another early goal. This time the buildup began with Whitney Sharpe, who worked her way to the right endline before chipping a pass back towards the six-yard line where Nicks was able to volley it home.
Saint Mary's made things interesting late, pulling to within one goal with four minutes remaining. An LMU 40 yards out near the right wing set up a free kick for the Gaels. Katy Roby sent in a long shot off the free kick that Brittany Jagger
was able to leap and punch away. But the ball stayed in play and Madden pushed it right back into the net.
The Gaels had one final opportunity to force overtime on a shot by Tognetti with 21 seconds remaining, but LMU defender Madison Heilmann cleared the ball off the line to preserve the win.
LMU finished with a slight 18-14 shot advantage, including five by Blankenship and four by Maletis. Both Jagger and Brenot had six saves on the day.
The Lions will look to carry momentum from this match into their Friday meeting with Pepperdine - another key WCC showdown. Kick off in Malibu is scheduled for 3 p.m.