Denver, Colorado: With a mixture of returners and newcomers successfully combining on the field of play the Regis University Rangers women’s soccer team opened the season with an impressive 3-0 victory over the Northwest Nazarene University Crusaders (0-1).
The Rangers connected one and two touch passes to hold possession of the ball in the first half but went into the break at a scoreless tie. The RU defense held the Crusaders to just one shot attempt in the opening half.
Head Coach JB Belzer was pleased with how his team came out of halftime, “Second half we started playing with more fluidity, how we were playing and how we were trying to combine.”
Senior midfielder Kiki Arnold (Boulder, Colorado) found the back of the net from 25 yards out blasting a shot past Crusader goalkeeper Daniele Ortiz to put Regis on the scoreboard in the 51st minute of play. Freshman midfielder Akina Fujimoto (Meridian, Idado) was credited with the assist.
Shortly after in the 59th minute of play junior midfielder Alexa Lonsdale (Riverside, California) cracked a shot into the lower left corner of the goal after a scramble in the box and a poor clearance off a corner kick to give the Rangers a 2-0 lead.
In the 80th minute of play junior forward Paulina Salazar (Escondido, California) added to the scoring by getting on the end of a free kick taken by Arnold. Salazar’s goal would be the final score of the match and Regis moves to 1-0 on the season. “We were patient enough to allow goal scoring ability to come to fruition, we scored some very good goals,” Belzer mentioned of his team’s offensive performance.
Sophomore goalkeeper Kat Crump (Huntsville, Alabama) recorded her first shutout of the year, playing in all 90 minutes and tallying two saves on the night.
Regis dominated play in their offensive third attempting 22 shots total, 11 in each half, with nine being on goal. The Crusaders saw more shot attempts in the second half with eight but the Ranger back line held strong to keep NNU scoreless. “The shutout is important, we have worked very hard on team defending and it paid off today,” stated Belzer. The Crusaders edged out RU in corner kicks, seven to six.
The Rangers are back on their home field on Sunday, Sept. 7 at 1 p.m. against Eastern New Mexico (0-1).