Saddleback player is second in OEC record goals sophomore, forward, captain, Danyelle Allen takes shot on goal (Photographs/Dominic D. Ebel)
Saddleback College women’s soccer and Irvine Valley College clashed in a battle for third place in the Orange Empire Conference last Friday. Saddleback came into this game ranked No. 18 in the nation, still battling injuries to key players. The outcome was a 1-0 win for the IVC.
The highly ranked Gauchos held their own against a healthy IVC team. With all the injuries to Saddleback’s team, they were very pleased to have the return of their freshman midfielder Julianna Caldwell. Caldwell played well, after having been carted off the field against Cypress College.
“We [have] had seven girls injured since the Golden West College game,” said head coach, BJ McNicol. “Our leading scorer Danyelle Allen brings a lot of attention, so it’s up to us to find other opportunities to get goals than[from] just one person.”
The only goal came in at the 75 minute mark when IVC sophomore midfielder and captain Courtney Smith took a 40-foot-long shot on the far post that found its way to the back of the net. Saddleback’s sophomore goalkeeper Alexandria Scott sprang into a drive just missing the save.
At the 77 minute mark, Gauchos sophomore forward and captain Danyelle Allen had her best look on goal. The Lasers keyed on her by defending her with three players and cutting her off. Saddleback never really had any other good opportunities for goals, as IVC’s freshman goalkeeper Nicole Dunn was making easy saves on goal.
“I thought we could have done a lot better to create more opportunities to score than we did,” McNicol said. “I thought we were going to get more chances than we did get in this game.”
Saddleback played with the team members that were playing well for them in the past, but they could not push themselves for the win. IVC, however, played great team defense, resulting in a win for them.
“It was a tough team, but we stayed with them,” said IVC player Tiana Salazar. “Our team played hard as we hustled to finish.”
Saddleback has dropped to fourth place in the conference with a record of 3-2-2. IVC moves into soul possession of third place with a record 4-2-1 in conference play.
Saddleback will need to continue to work hard as they will be hosting the No.2 team in the nation, Santiago Canyon. Santiago is undefeated in both conference and overall play. The home game at Saddleback will be this coming Tuesday at 3 p.m.
IVC will host a conference game against Norco College on Tuesday at 3 p.m.