Courtesy: Rachel McDaniel
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Best In The West
Courtesy: CBU  
Release: 11/17/2012
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RIVERSIDE, Calif. --- California Baptist University punched its ticket to the NCCAA National Tournament Saturday afternoon with a 1-0 win over Point Loma.

After splitting their two meetings this season, the Lancers took the postseason rubber match, having to kill of over 67 minutes to hold on for the win.

"I thought our players did a great job playing through some tense moments late in this game to come out on top," said CBU Head Coach Kristen St. Clair, whose team won the NCCAA National Title last season. "Those are the moments every player hopes for when you're trying to compete for a championship and I thought our girls came up big."

As it had been so many times already this season, it was Bernadette Witz who came up big with the score in the first half, getting the game winner for the sixth time this season.

Witz bagged her 13th goal of the year, chasing down a ball flicked on behind the defense by Kelly Jenks on a goal kick from Rosie Nakata. Witz turned on the jets and beat PLNU keeper Tiffany Kracy to the left side.

"That first half goal by Bernie was clutch," said St. Clair. "She's been clutch for us all season. It was a tremendous effort."

The Lancers created several more chances the rest of the way, forcing Kracy to make one save just under the crossbar, but couldn't put another past to gain a comfortable two goal lead.

After not getting a shot on goal in the first half, the Sea Lions challenged Nakata three times in the second half.

Nakata and the Lancers defense held strong, however, recording their ninth shutout of the season.

CBU outshot the Sea Lions 11-8 in the game and each keeper made three saves.

The win was also the 11th in a row for CBU, tying the program record set back in 2003. CBU has not lost since Oct. 2 at Point Loma.

"It's a great honor to go to another national tournament and represent the west region," said St. Clair. "We had a tough conference season and have had to go through some of the best teams in the country to get here. We've got a little break, but we're going to go back to work and be ready to compete once we get out there."

The Lancers travel to Kississimmee, Fla. for their title defense Nov. 28-Dec. 1.

CBU moves to 15-2-1 on the season, while Point Loma ends its season 12-5-3.

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