Two up, two down
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Westmont women’s soccer, ranked #6 in the NAIA, produced one-goal victories in two action packed home games last week.
On Wednesday, the Warriors engaged in a thrilling battle against the Antelope Valley Pioneers. The Warriors came out strong and produced a goal in the first 25 minutes of the game, ending the first half with a 1-0 lead.
Senior Jackie Lopez pressed high and put the opposing goalkeeper under pressure, and the goalie’s clearance was deflected off of Lopez’s back for the first goal.
Upon entering the second half, the opposing Pioneers pushed back and threatened the Warriors’ 1-0 lead. The Warriors’ determination, however, led to a second goal from freshman Bri Johnson off a Haley Parzonko corner kick in the 76th minute of the game.
The Pioneers’ high press and energy soon gave them the goals they were looking for as they scored two back-to-back goals in the last 15 minutes of the second half, forcing the game into overtime.
As overtime began, the Warriors asserted their dominance by playing with speed, connecting well, and developing several opportunities to score. The first overtime ended with the score still tied, with an additional overtime period to decide the match.
“I think we started to find a little more momentum in the overtime period,” said Westmont Head Coach Chantel Cappuccilli. “We were able to play into our experience. Although we wouldn’t want to be in the adverse situation to begin with, we handled ourselves well and were able to dig out of the situation that we got ourselves into.”
As time continued to fade away, the Warriors were working hard to find the goal. In the final minute of the game, center back Renee Gonsalves won a challenging ball in the middle of the field and proceeded to drive down the center of the field. Gonsalves connected a beautifully driven pass to Johnson who found herself outside of the 18 yard box. Johnson then dribbled across and struck a shot that would fly into the left corner for the game winner with just 37 seconds remaining.
On Saturday, Westmont hosted the Marymount Mariners. The Warriors continued to expand on their ability to control the ball throughout the match, resulting in a 1-0 victory.
In the physically demanding game, there were 16 fouls, ten from Marymount and six from Westmont.
Throughout the game, senior Destinee Adams proved to be a great force of defense for the Warriors, along with centerbacks Alanna Richards and Gonsalves. The powerful three showed their experience and composure in an intense game. The Warriors would end the first half tied 0-0, but hopeful to capitalize on opportunities in the second half.
Both teams came out strong in the beginning of the second half, but the Warriors’ defense remained resilient. The Warriors responded quickly by scoring in the 59th minute. Katelyn Merrell set up an incredible give-and-go for Savannah Scott to finish in the 18 yard box.
“Merrell set up a great opportunity for us to finish in the final third,” said Scott. “I happened to find myself in a good position and took a shot hoping it would find the back of the net.”
The Warriors displayed their efficiency in the final third through Adams and Merrell ripping two shots that both hit the post, while Richards barely missed the goal with a header off a Haylee Lopes pass.
The Warriors will continue to press on and play this Friday against Azusa Pacific at 6 p.m.