Saddleback College Women’s Soccer team played in an Orange Empire Conference match against Cypress College this past Tuesday. Both teams are nationally ranked, with Saddleback ranked No. 19 and Cypress ranked No. 7. The teams were evenly matched, and the result of the game was a 0-0 tie.
Cypress came out of the gate hard, starting with a fast tempo and attacking the goal. As expected, the game quickly turned into a battle, with Cypress getting aggressive. That aggressiveness led to injuries of two key Gauchos players.
Freshman right halfback Julianna Caldwell and sophomore midfielder and captain Krista Flores were the players injured. Caldwell’s injury was pretty severe, causing her to miss the rest of the game.
“A tie on the road and a win at home is OK for us, considering what kind of game it was…a real weird one with a couple of injuries,” said head coach BJ McNicol.
Cypress’ midfield play was outstanding in the first couple minutes of the game. This caused the Gauchos to move the game out of Saddleback’s defensive box and out of the danger zone.
“Yea, we started getting ahead in the midfield,” Flores said, “We didn’t take enough shots, but that’s OK. The tie is a good result.”
Sophomore goalkeeper Alexandria Scott was great and shut down many of Cypress’ best shots on goal. This was Scott’s fourth shutout of the season and her seventh game allowing one goal or less.
Freshman midfielder Devin Scelsi created many opportunities and made very solid transition passes to the strikers for them to finish. Even with Scelsi’s efforts, Cypress did a great job defending Saddleback’s opportunities, as the Gauchos were pretty much shut down.
“Our players came in in some critical spots that were needed today. Sophomore midfielder Alyssa Conrad came in, made some big tackles and had some runs on the sidelines,” McNicol said. “The whole squad was absolutely awesome scrambling to make plays.”
Saddleback could not get their top playmakers going on offense, as they could not slip free to score on offense. The Gauchos now have a record of 2-1-1 in OEC play, and 6-1-1 overall.