Leopards prevail in SCIAC opener 2-0

Leopards prevail in SCIAC opener 2-0

Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com

WHITTIER, Calif. – The Whittier College women's soccer team came out aggressive in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference opener but was unable to gather the win as they lost 2-0 to the Leopards from the University of La Verne. 

Right from the beginning the Poets were aggressive on both sides of the ball, getting numerous scoring opportunities and making it difficult for their opponents to get good looks at the goal.  Within the first two minutes of the game La Verne's McKenna Gooden slithered through a couple Poet defenders to knock in the first goal of the game.  She came in untouched and put the Leopards up 1-0 early at the 43 minute mark.

But after that goal, the purple and gold stepped up their game as they took a total of six shots on goal in the first half including a shot from freshman Madison Shipherd who hit the crossbar at the 32 minute mark.  She got a cross from Allison Calabrese and had a wide open look at the goal but missed high.  This would be a recurring theme for the Poets. 

Throughout the game, one would think the Poets were up as they continued to be the aggressor having four corner kick opportunities compared to La Verne's one.  They also had a great look at the goal from sophomore Danielle Kwasniowski in the finals seconds of the first half as she got a ball passed to her from Shipherd in the box and got around the Leopard goalie Delanie Pacheco but missed the goal by a couple feet.

La Verne would go into the half leading 1-0. 

As the second half got underway, Whittier continued to be the aggressor as they began picking up the tempo and getting five more shots on goal.  But as they continued to be aggressive so did the Leopards as both teams were flagged with two yellow cards a piece in the second half.  In front of a raucous crowd of almost 300 people, the Leopards managed to get a second goal ten minutes into the second half from Tara Cofer, who got a cross from Marisella Macias.

Whittier turned right back around keeping the ball on La Verne's half of the field a majority of the second half, continuing to get scoring opportunities one after the other.  Calabrese had a connection on her lone shot of the game forcing Pacheco to dive to her right, Shipherd yet again had an open look in front of the goal at the 59 minute mark barely missing high by inches, and Ashlin Steele got off a shot in the 54th minute forcing Pacheco to dive to her right.

So the Poets were forcing the issue the entire night and had great opportunities but nothing was falling for them on this Wednesday evening.  They look to come back strong as they take on Chapman University Saturday, September 17th beginning at 4pm.