Cruelest of exits

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Westmont’s women’s soccer team travelled to Costa Mesa for the annual Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) tournament. The women’s soccer team had a first round bye in the GSAC tournament, and went straight to the semifinals.

They were triumphant against The Master’s University Mustangs on Wednesday, giving them an opportunity to claim the title of GSAC Tournament champions on Friday. Despite their efforts, the Warriors settled for second place after losing to the Vanguard Lions in penalty kicks, after the match finishing 1-1 following two scoreless
overtime periods.

During the semifinal game, the Warriors were motivated to defeat the Mustangs in order to advance to the championship game. Throughout the first half, it was a tough and defensive battle on both sides. In the 46th minute, after getting past her defender, senior Haley Parzonko crossed the ball to senior Jackie Lopez who scored in the 46th minute of the game. After scoring that goal, the Warriors did all they could to ensure that the Mustangs would not score an equalizer. They ended up defeating the Mustangs 1-0, and advanced to the championship game. Their next and final opponent of the GSAC Tournament were the Vanguard Lions.

In the 22nd minute of the Championship game, the Lions scored and took an early 1-0 lead over the Warriors. However, the Warriors were not discouraged. They kept up the intensity and eventually scored in the 77th minute. The equalizer was by freshman Bri Johnson. The game was sent to overtime, where the Warriors eventually lost in penalty kicks. In overtime, freshman goalkeeper Gabi Haw made impressive saves that kept Westmont in the game.

“We all knew the championship game was going to be a battle,” said Haw, “Our two senior captains Renee Gonsalves and Alanna Richards kept us in the game by keeping our defense organized the whole 110 minutes. They showed everyone what it means to play with boldness and what it means to play like a Westmont Warrior.”

“We were definitely disappointed to lose after penalty kicks, but we know that will only give us momentum to be better in the important games coming up,” said Haw. “We know we played with full hearts and that we only move forward from here.”

The Warriors (14-3-2) received an at-large bid into the NAIA National Tournament and will host an Opening Round matchup against Eastern Oregon on Sat. Nov. 18 at a time to be announced.

“The tournament as a whole was a great experience for our team to help us prepare for the national tournament,” said Haw. “We were challenged and it only made us better.”


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