Reese Davidson’s record-setting performance helped #16 Westmont Women’s Soccer (10-0-3, 5-0-1 GSAC) post its 10th win of the season – a 4-0 shutout over host San Diego Christian (4-6-5, 1-4-2).
Davidson recorded a hat trick for the third time this season. She became just the second player in Westmont history to record three goals in three different games and the first to do so in a single season. Davidson also recorded hat tricks against Lincoln and Arizona Christian. Her 14 goals this season leads the GSAC.
Kelsey Steck is the only other player to have scored three goals in three different games. During the 2013 season, she tallied three against Arizona Christian. Then in 2014, she posted three goals against San Diego Christian. Steck capped off her senior year with a record-tying five goals against San Diego Christian on October 31, 2015.
“We are moving the ball better and better,” offered Westmont head coach Jenny Jaggard after the game. “The team is doing a better and better job every game figuring out how to keep the ball and still find moments to go forward. It is fun to watch them.
“San Diego Christian did a good job of packing the back half. They are good defenders. They were patient and they would wait for us to swing it and then come out and drive at us, pushing us back.
“The game was very tactical. We were not going to get a breakaway against a team like this. We had to find ways to move their defenders out of position to get a chance to get into the goal because it is so crowded in there. I was really proud of our players. It is the hardest game to play when a team packs the back like that. It requires a lot of patience and use of movement. It is kind of a chess game and fun to watch.”
The honor of scoring the game winner went to Karley Kingsley in the 15th minute.
“Similar to a goal in our last game, Grace got the ball, beat a couple of players and went to the end line. She cut it back and played a beautifully dropped, diagonal ball to Karly who was running from the top of the box into the box. Karly one-time finished it beautifully.”
Davidson scored for the first time in the 53rd minute, providing a bit of breathing room for the Warriors as they took a 2-0 lead.
“Reese’s first goal came off a corner kick from Ande Siegel,” reported Jaggard. “The ball went toward the back post and clipped off a defender. Reese was making a run onto the ball and volleyed it in.”
Sadie Hill provided the assist in the 65th minute for Davidson’s second goal.
“Sadie sent a beautiful ball that penetrated through their midfield, right to Reese’s feet,” said Jaggard. “Reese was sitting on the left side of the box. She took a beautiful lateral touch toward the center, creating a gap of space for herself before blasting it in.”
“Reese’s third goal was off a cross from Ande on the right side closer to the near post,” said Jaggard of the goal scored in the 75th minute. “It was a beautiful header goal. We have been on a roll with quality goals right now.”
The game also saw the return of Alyssa Zahirals to the pitch.
“It was her first game since her ACL injury last year and she played the last 15 minutes,” said Jaggard. “She has been looking good in practice and played well.”
With the win, and a 1-1 tie between Ottawa (Ariz.) (10-3-2, 4-1-2) and Menlo (7-3-2, 4-1-1), Westmont has claimed sole possession of first place in the GSAC with 16 points (three points for a win, one for a tie) in the standings. Ottawa is in second place with 14 points and Menlo claims third with 13 points. Vanguard (3-3-1, 7-5-3), who played to a scoreless tie with The Master’s (3-7-4, 1-2-3) is in fourth place with 10 points.
With a win at home next Thursday against William Jessup (1-4-1, 3-7-2), the Warriors could clinch at least a share of the GSAC Regular Season Championship and a bye in the first round of the upcoming GSAC Tournament. Six teams qualify for the conference tournament with the top two receiving a bye in the opening round. With one more weekend to play, none of the GSAC’s nine teams have yet been eliminated from postseason play.
Westmont will conclude regular season play next Saturday when they host Menlo. If Westmont defeats William Jessup on Thursday and Menlo wins its game against The Master’s, Saturday’s game will determine the top seed in the GSAC Tournament.
Ron Smith is the sports information director at Westmont College.