Ladies run away with conference win

The Santa Monica College Lady Corsairs made a statement with their first dominant performance of the year, chalking up a 3-0 victory.

And being the second game of the conference play, the message came across that much more clearly.

The Corsairs are not here to try their best. They're here to win.

On the receiving end of the SMC beat down was the Bakersfield College Renegades, who were held scoreless for the duration of the game last Friday.

Sophomore Brianna Edwards opened the score in the twenty-fifth minute of the first half after a superlative lead pass from sophomore Mercy Tejada.

Tejada would play a pivotal role in the match, emerging as a leader by controlling the pace of the game and ensuring SMC ball possession.

Even though she and the rest of the Corsairs established themselves as the hungrier team by putting up the first score, the Renegades continued to fight to tie it up with valid attempts on goal from Samantha Callagy and Melody Jorgensen.

However, SMC's defense proved to be too strong to let the opposite team consistently build an attack, and they went into halftime with teeming confidence.

"Look ladies, you've done enough," said head coach Aaron Benditson to his players during the half. "We are going to start the second half like the first one, with the same energy."

The team responded quite nicely as forward Brianna Edwards scored her second goal only one minute after the whistle blew to start the second half.

"You guys are in a mood like I've never seen you before," said Benditson to the players sitting on the bench.

Ten minutes after the second goal, Freshman Olivia Patterson "put it in the refrigerator" by scoring the third and final goal of the game.

On the other end of the field, the clean sheet was not only a product of solid Corsair defense, but must also be attributed to the stellar blocks of the new goalkeeper Lauren Rae Reichardt.

As a last-ditch effort to score, Renegades head coach Scott Dameron asked for an extra four minutes to be added to the 90-minute match, but it was in vain as the final whistle sounded to announce the end of the game.

While the Corsairs could relate to the frustration exemplified by Bakersfield after enduring a blowout loss, they took time to appreciate the big win after their last three matches ended in a draw. "It's a big win for us," said sophomore Jen Hager.

"I was very excited for the girls," said Coach Benditson. "They put a lot of effort and energy into it."

Benditson and the girls are looking forward to a promising remainder of the season after this match.

"It was a good confidence builder," said Benditson.

The ladies look to ride their newfound momentum for the remainder of Conference play in their push to illuminate themselves as top playoff contenders.