Lady Corsair soccer continues to knock on the door
Santa Monica College's Lady Corsair soccer team couldn't end their streak of tie games, drawing level with Moorpark College on the road in their last pre-season matchup of the year. Last Friday the Lady Corsairs earned their third straight draw of the season by a score of 0-0 against the Moorpark Lady Raiders. Despite the low-scoring affair, Santa Monica and Moorpark kept fans on the edge of their seats as they battled to a stalemate.
SMC's rock-solid defense held the Raiders to only two shots on goal, as captain goalkeeper Alisa Sheldon thwarted both attempts by the opposition.
Sheldon played superwoman throughout the entire match, with only her goaltending jersey hiding the "S" on her chest.
Witty defensive tackles and broad-strength challenges provided by right back Samantha Li further reinforced SMC's ball-stopping power. Li, a freshman, showed no fear against the Raider strikers and defenders, also posing a threat as an attacking player once she moved up in the second half of play.
"What do you do when a bull runs at you?" said Head Coach Aaron Benditson rhetorically to his players during the half. "You cut to the side and let him pass, boom, ole!"
Li proved attentive as she responded with several impressive cuts in the second half, leaving the spectators in awe and more importantly providing chances to score.
However, the back of the net seemed to elude the Lady Corsairs all throughout the game, a credit to the stellar defense of the Raiders.
The ladies did not drive an hour inland to settle for a draw however, and they made that statement clear by turning up the volume at the end of the match.
The Corsairs managed to maintain ball possession for almost the entire last twenty minutes of the game, a trademark of well-played soccer.
Although they had a few scares on defense as a result of Raider counter-attacks, Moorpark wouldn't pose any legitimate threats.
Ball control and occasional hip-twisting brilliance came from freshman Olivia Patterson.
Patterson was the first option in free-kick takers, and nearly scored by just missing the post in a shot about 30 yards out in the sixtieth minute.
The heartstrings of spectators were tugged in the last ten minutes, as each play hinted at a goal that just never came.
Frustration settled upon the faces of the SMC squad as the referee signaled the end of the game.
Players dawning the Corsair blue and white each looked down in disappointment, knowing they had opportunities to put a tally in the win column and take this one home.
Moorpark, who reached the third round of the playoffs last season, was expected to be a tough team to beat. Coach Benditson concluded that the draw was satisfactory, and continues to remain positive about the team's future.
"We played a quality team, and I'm happy we got a positive result," said Benditson.
"We will be playing some tough teams during the season, but I'm glad we have some experience under our belt and overall I think we're ready for the challenges ahead."
The Lady Corsairs' conference opener is an away game and is scheduled to take place this Tuesday at Citrus College, followed by their season's first home game against Bakersfield College on Oct. 1.