Saddleback freshman forward Brooke Nieman, who scored two goals Tuesday, watches freshman midfielder Kennedy Padgett dribble past San Diego City College defenders in the undefeated Gauchos 6-0 home victory. (Photograph/Dominic D. Ebel)
After last season’s second round playoff loss, Saddleback College Womens Soccer Coach BJ. McNicol, said to then Lariat Editor in Chief Michael Grennell, that “the future is bright for the team.”
Stocked and talented, the teams mission is to go deeper into the playoffs.
“I think we got probably the most talented team I’ve ever had at Saddleback, in terms of each players individual talent, this is the best we’ve ever had,” McNicol said.
They have arrived but are up against time, McNicol said.
“Some of them are very talented players, but we got them late in the process,” McNicol said. ”Some of them signed up literally a week before school.“
The team returns sophomore forward Danyella Allen, who was one of the top scorers in the state last year, and sophomore midfielder Krista Flores. Allen and Flores were named co-captains this season.
Saddleback College freshman defender Julianna Caldwell (front left, No. 21) and teammates take a victory walk off the Saddleback Stadium field after their 6-0 win against San Diego City College.(Photograph/Dominic D. Ebel)
McNicol said last year they only had one great dynamic scorer, Allen.
“Now we got two or three more,” McNicol said. “we have more offensive threats than we had last year”
The Gauchos have arrived across the field with play makers hoping to get them a title. The outstanding play of midfielder Flores in big games help their defense and the Gauchos hope to capture the Orange Empire Conference crown.
“We do have our keeper back Alexandria Scott, who was awesome, McNicol said plus Emily Winkelmann was a huge compliance to our defense which we will have her for another year”.
Last year loss to No.1 Cerritos in the playoffs was our measuring device, McNicol said entering this season the Gauchos ability to execute in big games will be the key for success to go deep into the playoffs.
“absolutely, thats our goal every year to compete in the Orange Empire Conference” McNicol said.“Our no.1 goal is to win the Orange Empire Conference title”.
The first title is always the toughness to get under your belt, McNicol said. The worth of earning the Orange Empire Conference title, to hold the trophy and see the banner which will be seen hung up in the rafters of the Saddleback College Gymnasium forever.
“We have never won the Orange Empire title, McNichol said then our 2nd goal is to get back into the playoffs and see how far we can go”.