Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
WHITTIER, Calif. – The Whittier College Women's Soccer team fought through the heat Saturday morning at Graham Soccer Field to edge the Pioneers of Lewis & Clark 1-0.
With the win, Whittier improves to 2-0 with a big road trip looming to Washington next weekend when they take on ranked opponents Puget Sound (Sept. 9 @ 4:00pm) and Pacific Lutheran (Sept. 11 @ 11:00am).
"I was very pleased that we were able to close out the game and get the win," explained Head Coach Monica Gerardo. "I thought we played extremely well the first half, defending as a unit, creating chances and working off of the ball. This game was the tale of two halves; Lewis & Clark came out strong for the entire 45 minutes and kept us on our heels. I'm proud of the team's overall effort and ability to deal with adversity, which I think is a testament to our team's character and chemistry. Thanks to a great hustle play by Lyla Matar (Glendale, Calif.), we were able to get the lead and hold onto it."
It was a balanced attack from start to finish for the Purple & Gold outshooting Lewis & Clark 12-0 in the first half coming from nine different players.
Lauren Kai (Torrance, Calif.) got the attack going :33 seconds in forcing Pioneer goalie Hannah Osmundson to come up with a big save to keep the game deadlocked. Erin Myers (Hacienda Heights, Calif.), Kai, and Leah Kolek (Diamond Bar, Calif.) would then unload another three shots on frame but each would barely miss allowing the Pios to come away unscathed.
The Poets would continue their push and it would be rewarded in the final minute of the half off the foot of Matar who got a through ball in the box, while beating Osmundson. The ball would ricochet off the side post and would curl in for the eventual game-winner.
This would send the game to a 1-0 advantage for WC into the half.
In the second, Lewis & Clark gave a big push outshooting Whittier 8-2. They had a clean look for the equalizer two minutes in as Anna Saucedo would get past Alexi Cruz (Long Beach, Calif.) putting a ball on frame but Jennifer Muise (Chino Hills, Calif.) would slide in to make the defensive save that ended up preserving the 1-0 victory.
Five different players would take two shots with Matar and Miranda Yzabal (Whittier, Calif.) each having both of theirs on frame.
Cruz picked up her second win between the posts with two saves.