Latest Win For Women's Soccer Bumps Lady Corsairs To Second Place in Conference Standings
The SMC women's soccer team extended their winning streak to four games this past Tues. Oct. 27 by outscoring the Bakersfield Renegades 2-1. After suffering mixed results in recent road games, the well-ranked Renegades could not put enough pressure on the lady Corsairs to reverse their momentum.
Initially the Corsair's showed signs of lethargy in the game, and allowed their opponents to out hustle them to the ball.
Early in the first period a Bakersfield player found an unguarded lane down the center from midfield. It was a tense one on one situation as the nearest Santa Monica players were too far from the ball to intercept the shooter.
Starting goalkeeper Bronwyn O'Neill reacted quickly to the situation, and came up with a huge save to prevent the Renegades from taking an early lead.
Both teams struggled furiously against each other to maintain possession as the ball was returned to midfield. "It was a tense game against a very physical team," said head coach Aaron Benditson.
The Lady Corsairs appeared to gather their wits about them amidst the back and forth play. The Renegades continued to beat the Corsairs to the ball when it was cleared, however SMC defenders were successfully challenging early Bakersfield attacks.
When the Corsair offense began to find their rhythm they displayed superior dribbling skills, and made effective use of short passes. Less than halfway through the first period midfielder Karaline Proto would break out from the midfield, charge down the right wing, and make the first goal of the game.
The Renegades fought hard to tie things up before the close of the period, but alert and well-positioned defenders allowed them few solid attempts at goal. SMC midfielder Charlotte Toates helped to keep pressure against the visiting team by moving the ball well into Renegade territory after an attack was disrupted.
The Renegades played at a fast, determined pace, but smart performances by Corsair athletes at both ends of the field allowed SMC to command of the game. Late in the first period midfielder Natalia Burks would bring Corsairs up two to zero with a close range shot.
For the first portion of the second period the Corsairs conserved their energy, and relied on their defense to run the clock. "The girls got a little complacent, that was a mental error on our part," said head Benditson. Bakersfield players, however, playing under pressure refused the home team defenders any room for comfort. Late in the second half Renegade player Terryn Soelberg would make the first, and only goal for her team.
Questionable officiating late in the game allowed the Renegades a one-player advantage on the field, and gave Bakersfield an opportunity to tie the game in the final minutes. The Corsairs would prove their resilience however, and manage to maintain their lead despite having fewer players on the field.
Last weeks events on the soccer field lead to some commotion in the women's Western State: Southern Division. Bakersfield College has fallen from second, to fourth place.
The Corsair's victory on Tuesday, followed by a tie in an away game against Glendale College, gives them a conference record of 6-1-3. They have jumped in rank from third to second place. Los Angeles Pierce College still holds first place with a conference record of 10-0-0.