The Saddleback College women’s soccer team saw its dream season come to an end Saturday afternoon at Cerritos College, as the Gauchos were shutout 3-0 by the Falcons.
The Gauchos were able to stonewall the Falcons offense through the first 60 minutes of the game, before Falcons forward Nayeli Requejo put up the first point of the game. Forward Claudia Lopez followed up with two more goals in 15 minutes to give Cerritos the final score of 3-0.
Despite the loss, Saddleback head coach BJ McNicol was proud of his team’s performance.
“I never sat there at the end of last season and said, ‘Yeah, we’ll definitely be in the playoffs and give the number one team a run for their money,'” McNicol said. “I thought that [the team] did themselves and the school proud by coming out and giving us 100 percent effort, and making the number one team really have to earn [the win].”
Saddleback struggled to put pressure on Cerritos’ defense, as the Falcons had 19 shots in the game while the Gauchos only managed four shots.
“Even though we didn’t get it today, we certainly had three or four really good opportunities [to score] against a team like this, and I’m really proud that we were able to get those opportunities,” McNicol said.
With the loss, Saddleback ends its season with a 13-4-6 record (8-3-5 in conference play). This is the fourth time in the program’s history that the team finished the season with a winning record, and the third time that the Gauchos were knocked out of the playoffs in the first round.
“I’m not exaggerating when I say this was a dream season,” McNicol said. “To win all the games we have, to break all the records we have, and to have what was largely about half [sophomores] and half [freshmen] that were able to gel, and were really able to make history for the school, and to get [to the playoffs] for the first time in a long time, it was great.”
Looking forward to next season, McNicol was excited about the team’s prospects, pointing out the high performances from goalkeeper Alexandria Scott, forward Danyelle Allen, and the team’s defense.
“We’re rebuilding the program,” McNicol said. “And so far, the future looks so bright.”