Saddleback took a 1-0 victory over Ventura College in a hard-fought home game Sept 6.
The first half opened with both teams slamming head first into each other, which foreshadowed the physical game to come. As both teams struggled to control the ball and establish dominance, many balls were closely contested.
These aggressive shoulder-to-shoulder contests became so heated that that Pirates defender Nicole Jackson seemingly headlocked and threw Gauchos Amie Soares to the ground. This action resulted in a yellow card to the Ventura player.
The first half ended scoreless.
The second saw an entirely different Gauchos squad come to the field, a squad that was finally able to get control of the game and move the ball the way they needed to.
“We tried two new formations today, a 3-4-3 in the first half and a 3-5-2 in the second, said Saddleback’s head coach Brandy Craig. “We are making adjustments, seeing what works, and I think we found it in the second [half].”
The game continued to be just as physical in the second half, but with the new formation, the Gauchos were able to control the game and keep the ball on Ventura’s end of the field.This new pressure resulted in a goal by Saddleback’s Taylor Knight, but the lead was anything but secure.
In the closing minutes of the game, Ventura received a direct kick very close to the goal. Gaucho’s goal keeper Melisa Campagna was in a tough spot.
“I didn’t know exactly what the other team was doing; they were creating a wall in front of ours,” Campagna said.By creating a second wall, Ventura attempted to keep the direction of the ball a secret until the last second, but all of this was in vein as Campagna came up with the game-winning save to secure the 1-0 shutout.
“Since I’m fast enough off the line, I was just trying to get there with my speed,” Campagna said.
The Gauchos will play Friday, Sept. 14 on the road against Cypress College. The game starts at 3 p.m.