After losing its season-opening game, the Westmont women’s soccer team has rallied off five consecutive wins in a row. The latest victory was a convincing 5-0 win over Antelope Valley on Friday in Lancaster, in a game that reached triple-digit temperatures.
“The keys for Friday were to play fast and play hard,” said junior midfielder Izzy Berthoud, who scored the team’s fifth goal of the day. “The grass was so long and the field was so short that we knew it was going to be a battle.”
The Warriors, who had scored 14 goals in their previous four games, did not take long to get on the scoreboard. Senior Maddi Berthoud scored her team-leading fifth goal of the season in just the eighth minute of play, off an assist from Teagan Matye.
Westmont tacked on another before halftime in the 38th minute, this time from senior defender Kira Nemeth who was assisted by freshman forward Reese Davidson. The captain’s second goal of the season gave the Warriors a 2-0 lead going into the break. Taking first half leads has been an emphasis for the team during its winning streak.
“I think the reason for our five-game winning streak is that we are really pushing to be a first half team,” said Izzy Berthoud. “Get in, get it done, and get out. So far I’d say we are succeeding at that.”
Davidson sealed the game for the visitors in the second half, scoring the first two goals of her collegiate career. The first came in the 65th minute off an assist from freshman midfielder Grace Hotaling. Davidson’s second goal came less than two minutes later to put the Warriors up 4-0.
Izzy Berthoud finished off the scoring for the Warriors in the 76th minute, scoring her third of the season.
“We have created a lot of scoring opportunities against the teams we have played and I think we are starting to finish more of those opportunities in front of goal,” said junior forward Bri Johnson, a key offensive player for the Warriors.
Westmont, averaging almost four goals scored per game during its five-match winning streak, travels next to Lawrenceville, Georgia. to take part in the Georgia Gwinnett Tournament. The Warriors play the no. 1 ranked team in the NAIA, William Carey (Miss.), on Sept. 19 before playing against another top-20 team, Mobile (Ala.), on Sept. 21.
Those two games are the final non-conference matches for the Warriors, who begin Golden State Athletic Conference play on the road at William Jessup on October 3.