A Tale of Two Games
The Santa Monica College women's soccer team clung to a one-point lead against the College of the Canyons Cougars to claim victory on the road this past Fri., Nov. 6., with the final score of 1-0. The grinding pace of last week's game served to test the resilience of the Lady Corsairs defense.
A goal scored early in the first period by midfielder Kari Proto gave the Lady Corsairs a tactical edge over their opponents. It would be back and forth throughout the game, with both teams encountering good scoring opportunities. "We both had our chances," said head coach Aaron Benditson, "but it was our great play defensively that made the difference."
Despite some very close calls and near misses on SMC's goal, the Lady Corsairs refused to let victory slip from their grasp. Goalkeeper Bronwyn O'Neill was impassable that evening, and came up with some big saves that, according to Benditson, "kept the Corsairs in that game." O'Neill's performance, as well as the great effort across SMC's roster, helped keep them ahead of their opponents. A determined and tenacious defense clamped down on the Cougars, thus managing to keep them scoreless throughout the whole game.
Friday's win returns the Lady Corsairs to their winning ways after a loss last Tuesday to the undefeated Lady Brahmas of Los Angeles Pierce College.
Tuesday's loss was a tough pill to swallow as the Lady Corsairs grabbed on to an early lead in the game, scoring the first goal. However, they were unable to match the overbearing dominance of the Lady Brahmas' play, thus allowing two unanswered goals by the opposition and its eventual conference championship crowning.
The victory over the Cougars grants the Lady Corsairs a boost in morale that holds great value as the regular season nears its end. More than two long months of play against fierce teams has left its mark upon the embattled athletes. "We're playing with a lot of injuries and a lot of tired bodies," said Coach Benditson.
In much the same way that the Lady Corsairs had to grind their way to a finish last Friday, members of the team found themselves trudging towards the close of the regular season. However, the women's soccer team still has plenty to play for and appear to have the pride and tenacity to persevere.
With only one game left to play, as of press time, the Lady Corsairs retain the second best record in their division and the Western State Conference playoffs are bound to include SMC on its bracket list.
"For the sophomores, it's their last chance to play for Santa Monica," said Benditson. With players as dedicated as the Lady Corsairs roster, it's safe to assume they'd refuse to go out with a whimper.