THOUSAND OAKS — Oxy's Grace Bender (East Greenwich, R.I.) was just inches away from tying the match in the 88th minute, but Cal Lutheran goalie Kristin Bailey had something to say about it.
With her team making a last-ditch effort to send the game into overtime, Bender controlled a cross on a corner kick and fired a shot that appeared headed for the top of the net before Bailey made a finger-tip save that sent the ball over the crossbar and the Occidental College women's soccer team home from Cal Lutheran with a 1-0 loss on Wednesday.
Cal Lu's Kristin DiPippo found Lindsay Armenta for the game's only goal in the ninth minute, giving Cal Lu a victory and with it, at least a share of its third consecutive conference championship.
Despite coming away without any points, the Tigers (4-9, 3-8 SCIAC) had one of their best showings of the season against the first-place Regals (15-2, 11-0 SCIAC).
Bender, Kate Correll-Buss (Denver) and Whitney Roline (Eugene, Ore.) all placed shots on goal in the first half, but the Occidental College women's soccer team couldn't recover after giving up the early score.
Elissa Minamishin (Waipahu, Hawaii) also had two shots for Oxy.
The Tigers head to Claremont on Saturday to face Pomona-Pitzer at 11 a.m. on Saturday.