Irvine Valley’s women’s soccer (0-5) opened Orange Empire Conference play with a loss to defending state champion Santiago Canyon College (6-0) 0-2 in a valiant effort Tuesday.
The Lasers proved to be much more of a challenge then the No. 2 ranked Hawks expected.
“It’s the best we played [against] them; we made a game of it,” said Irvine’s head coach Simon Davies. “It was 0-0 at half time. We dropped two goals, but we didn’t let our heads drop.”
In the first half, the Hawks dominated the offensive side of the game, bringing their fullbacks up to center field in an effort to keep the ball at IVC’s end of the field.
To their surprise, the Lasers were prepared for them and were able to keep the game scoreless going into half time.
“We all knew going into the game Santiago Canyon is the returning champ, so we had to come out hard, play a lot stronger defensively and stay man-to-man,” said IVC’s defensive captain Tanisha Senarante.
After playing clean in the first half, IVC made its first mistake that cost them a goal, as Hawks Kristi Wagerle scored off a pass from Sarah Califf three minutes into the second half.
“We were a little bit hurt on injuries and we knew they had some great players, so we were concentrating mainly on keeping it tight,” Davies said.
The Lasers held the game at 0-1, showing great defense in a very physical game, until the 60th minute when Hawks Kaitlin Thulin scored off an assist from Sarah Califf.
The game ended with a score of 0-2 in the Hawks’ favor.
“We had a couple of slip ups, but we learned from them and did really well, rebuilding after that second goal, at sticking with our players and running down the field more,” Senarante said.
With the loss, IVC’s record dropped to 0-6 overall, 0-1 in conference play. The Lasers will continue its treck through conference opponents on Friday when they face Santa Ana (1-5, 0-1) at 3 p.m.