No. 18 Cal women’s soccer to host Loyola Marymount at home in 1st round of NCAA Tournament

Aslesha Kumar/Staff

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The No. 18 Cal women’s soccer team is now set to face Loyola Marymount in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

The Bears, a No. 3 national seed, will be able to benefit from the support of their fans, as they will host the (13-5-1) Lions at Edwards Stadium on Saturday. The spectators will likely not be disappointed because the Bears will head into the game after ending Stanford’s 10-game winning streak Friday with a 1-1 draw.

With a strong defense led by sophomore defender Annia Mejia, Cal will give LMU a difficult time finding the back of the net. But if the Lions’ potent offense, which has notched 1.74 goals per game, penetrates the defense, sophomore goalkeeper Emily Boyd is more than capable of coming through with a crucial save. Boyd’s .55 goals against average led her to set the single-season record in clean sheets against the Cardinal.

The defense will maintain victories within reach, but it will be up to the offense — led by forwards Arielle Ship and Celeste Boureille — to successfully showcase its talents in the make-or-break scenario that is playoffs.

Manny Flores covers women’s soccer. Contact him at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @manny_0.