Soccer falls at home
By Kevin Duncan
The Santa Monica College Lady Corsair soccer team learned on Tuesday that you must experience failure to appreciate success. In their third game of the season versus a tough Santa Barbara squad, they gave an encouraging show of hustle: it's a shame hustle alone does not win games. That unfortunately was the case as the Corsairs fell victim to a 3-0 route yesterday afternoon.
The Lady Corsairs looked impressive in the first half, with the defensive squad matching Santa Barbara's shutout. Sophomore Caitlyn O'Neil and freshman Cassidy Ragus held down the right defensive side of the field like your favorite pair of paperweights. O'Neil especially showed veteran awareness when she stopped the ball from going into the net after the Corsairs' keeper was beaten near the conclusion of the second half.
But even the solid defense wasn't enough to satisfy head coach Aaron Benditson, as he knew they needed to step up their attacking game in the second half.
"Don't be hitting balls through the air, we need driven balls on the ground that find player's feet!" stressed head coach Aaron Benditson at the half as he talked strategy with the team. "Fight for the ball, you have to scrap for it!"
The Corsairs did in fact look more polished when taking the field after the intermission, looking more aggressive and attempting more shots in the first five minutes than they did in the entire first half. However, it was Santa Barbara that would take over and host a goal-scoring clinic throughout the rest of the game. The Vaquero's substitute Anna Doone started things off with a goal in the thirty-seventh minute, executing off of a corner kick.
Even down one to zero, the Lady Corsairs continued to fight and attempt to tie the score, creating some opportunities that were thwarted with spectacular saves from the opposing goalie.
These included a near-make by freshman Sarah Barrington on a breakaway and a beautiful outside shot by freshman Olivia Patterson that ricocheted off the crossbar.
The Vaquero's were apparently impervious to the Corsairs' early second half offensive surge. With eighteen minutes left in regulation, the opposition scored off an excellently placed cross and followed with another goal that found the side netting.
Catching up with Coach Benditson after the game, he explained that he thought that the first half was a good display of soccer although the second half was something different.
"We need to be more aggressive and stronger physically and mentally," he commented. His ideal goal for the team this season is to guide them to the playoffs and go deep in Conference.
When on the subject of team philosophy, Benditson replied saying, "Always do your best and show a lot of effort." "We just need to score goals, because that's what you need to win games."
Look for the Lady Corsairs to bounce back in their home game on Friday at 3:00 against San Bernardino.