Women's Soccer earned first win in home opener
As a silence swept across the field, all the eyes followed the spinning black and white soccer ball as it sailed through the air. The goalkeeper tried backpedaling rapidly, but to no avail. The ball dropped slightly below the crossbar and crashed into the back of the net. Santa Monica College's Josseline Espinoza, scored an impressive goal with only 4 minutes left to play to nudge the Corsairs ahead.
Her goal proved to be the deciding one as SMC earned their first victory of the season by defeating the El Camino Warriors 2-1 in Friday's competition.
The Corsairs largely controlled the pace of the game. The home team kept the majority of possession and were constantly pushing the ball into the offensive third.
“Something we’re always working on is trying to maintain possession of the ball, because if we have the ball, we have control,” said head coach Aaron Benditson, “I was happy with us offensively.”
SMC midfielder Natalie Rey pushed the Corsairs to an early lead by scoring in the 14th minute of the game. On an attempted shot, the ball pinballed off of El Camino’s goalkeeper into the leg of a nearby El Camino defender before ending up in the back of the net.
El Camino fired back with a goal of their own in a similar series of events. A high shot towards the top of the goal ricocheted upwards off of the hands of the SMC goalkeeper, eventually coming down into the goal.
The Corsairs registered many shots on goal; however, the El Camino goalkeeper delivered an outstanding performance, keeping the Corsair's offense from adding another goal. SMC turned up the heat in the final minutes of the first half, forcing the El Camino goalkeeper to make three consecutive difficult saves in order to maintain the tie heading into half time.
The Corsair defense stood strong throughout the game, with defender Victoria Scribner consistently stopping the Warriors’ momentum.
It was a particularly special moment for Espinoza as this was her first game-winning goal of her collegiate career. “Amazing,” reflected Espinoza, “my mom and dad motivate me to be great, they were here to watch me play.”
The Corsairs were able to walk off the field proud of their victory instead of feeling disappointed by outplaying El Camino in a draw.
“I think we were deserving of that win,” said coach Benditson.