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The #4 Westmont women’s soccer team opened Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) play last week, defeating William Jessup 2-1 before recording its first draw of the season against Menlo, 1-1. The draw puts Westmont at 7-1-1 overall, and 1-0-1 in GSAC play.
On Thursday, Westmont won the battle of Warriors with William Jessup from goals by freshman Bri Johnson and junior Hailey Parker. Johnson opened the scoring in the 8th minute, before William Jessup equalized in the 67th minute. Parker broke the deadlock for good and won the game with her goal in the 84th minute.
The Menlo game got off to a slow start offensively. The first goal was scored in the 41st minute by the Oaks, when they capitalized off of a good cross into the box.
Westmont responded in kind just three minutes later, when Johnson turned on the gas to outrun three defenders, sprinting down the right side of the field to take a cross from senior Grayce DeGroot, and find an unguarded corner of the net.
“We did a good job to respond when we went a goal down,” said Westmont head coach Chantel Cappuccilli. “Our ability to handle pressurized situations and moments when we go a goal down has been impressive.”
The Warriors achieved their goal of playing aggressively and controlling the field, demonstrated by Westmont outshooting Menlo 23-11, including 11-5 in shots on goal.
“We created opportunities that could have been put away and essentially granted us a win,” said Cappuccilli. “However, the opportunities didn’t come off. But again, I did appreciate our resilience and determination to handle adversity and come back after being scored on.”
After two periods of overtime, the game finished in a 1-1 draw.
“I think we fought hard on Saturday against Menlo by matching up with them physically and keeping a strong mentality throughout the game,” said junior Vanessa Larson after the game. “We are a team that knows how to respond well when down a goal, and we were able to show that before halftime by getting one on the scoreboard.”
“It’s still early in the season and we know we have more in us as a team,” continued Larson. “Every game is a learning opportunity and this game just continued to show us what we need to improve on. I am confident in our team and our abilities and I’m excited to see where this season takes us.”
Westmont continues its conference season at Arizona Christian University on Thursday at 5 p.m. before travelling to face San Diego Christian on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.
“This game was of value early on in our conference play,” said Cappuccilli. “I’m glad we didn’t end the game with a loss, but I do believe there are learning lessons we can take from the tie. Some adversity in our conference play has the potential to better us later.”