Senior Night Success at Sullivan
Sarah Sanger scored the game-winner of of Jo Blankenship's 19th career assist.
LOS ANGELES - On Senior Night at Sullivan Field, the LMU women's soccer team, and the LMU fans, gave the 2015 class a proper sendoff with a 1-0 overtime win against Wells Fargo PCH Cup rival Pepperdine.
As more than 900 strong cheered from the stands, sophomore Sarah Sanger volleyed home an in-swinging corner kick from senior Jocelyn Blankenship two minutes into the first golden goal overtime period, securing the Lions' 13 win of the season. LMU concludes the regular-season at 13-5-1 overall and 7-2-0 in West Coast Conference play.
Saturday's win, coupled with San Francisco's 1-0 loss at Portland puts LMU in a tie with the Dons for second place in the final WCC standings. Thirteen wins ties the all-time program record set in 1999, while seven league wins is also an all-time record for the 23-year-old program. The Lions also went undefeated at home with a perfect 10-0-0 mark.
Prior to kick off, the Lions honored seniors Blankenship, Cassidy Nicks, Kristen Vasquez, Ally Andreini, Madison Heilmann, Shannon Kent, Morgan Hilby, Natalia Behnken and Callie Taylor. LMU then went to work, dominating play against the Waves from the first whistle.
LMU earned a 7-4 shot advantage in the first half, but the teams went into the break knotted at zero. Hilby nearly put the Lions ahead in the 84th minute, going one-on-one with Pepperdine goalkeeper Hannah Seabert inside of eight yards. But Seabert came up with a big save to keep the match scoreless.
Less than a minute later, Blankenship had a chance of her own, but her header shot at the back post was blocked by a Wave defender.
Just two minutes into the first extra period, Gabby Sanfilippo worked her way down the right flank, earning the Lions' ninth corner kick of the night. Blankenship sent the cross into the mix where Sanger connected with her right foot, volleying a shot into the upper right netting.
The assist was Blankenship's fifth of the season and 19th of her career, breaking the previous LMU record of 18 set by Julie Gallaudet.
LMU, which entered tonight's match, with an RPI of 39, will now await Monday's NCAA Tournament selection show to see if they will receive an at-large bid into the 64-team field. Thirty-one conference champion selections are automatic, leaving 33 at-large selections. The selection show will air live on NCAA.com at 1:30 PT.
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