The Westmont women’s soccer team (6-1-2, 2-0-1 GSAC) had to rally from two deficits on Thursday evening at the Orange County Great Park, then settled for a 2-2 double-overtime tie against Hope International (5-0-1, 0-0-1).
“When you look at the stats, we outshot them 21-7 and end up with a tie, which seems a little bit frustrating,” admitted Westmont head coach Jenny Jaggard. “Hope was very challenging. They have multiple fast players, and their counter attack is very dangerous.
“Overall, our team did a good job to slow them up and win the ball back. There were a couple of unfortunate moments of defending errors in front of our box that cost us two goals. But over the course of that game, the team defending was impressive. We kept good pressure and prevented those players who were very fast from doing more damage than they did.
“Reese Davidson and Amarys Machado did a good job creating opportunities and holding the ball and carrying the ball under a lot of pressure and at speed.”
With the draw, the Warriors, who picked up one point in the GSAC standings, sit atop the ledger with seven points. The Master’s (6-0-3, 2-0) is in second place with six points and Ottawa (Ariz.) (7-2-2, 1-0-2) sits in third place with five points.
“We did a good job of moving the ball in the first half of the first half,” noted Jaggard. “We created some amazing opportunities that we didn’t finish. Then they got a goal on us, and it turned into this weird rhythm of feeling like we are dominating the game, but we are always chasing the score.”
Hope International tallied the first goal in the 38th minute. Natalie Padilla intercepted a pass, then quickly passed to Ryley Candelario who was able to get behind the defense. Candelario blasted a shot just underneath the crossbar for her first goal of the season.
Westmont responded just two and one-half minutes later, tying the score at one. A free kick from Shayna Scott from the left side came to Karly Kingsley, who sent the ball past the Royals’ keeper for her first collegiate goal.
Kingsley, who has played the majority of her career as a defender, recently made the move to an attacking midfielder position.
Hope International scored again in the 51st minute to take the lead for the second time.
Padilla sent in a ball from the top of the 18-yard box to Ofelia Sosa Cruz. With her back to goal, Sosa Cruz touched the ball to her left, then slid and shot from the top of the six, driving the ball along the ground into the far side netting.
The Warriors tied up the game at two goals apiece in the 65th after Amarys Machado was tripped just inside the 18 as she was dribbling toward the goal. Teagan Matye took the ensuing penalty kick, sinking the ball in the back of the net for her team-leading fourth goal of the season.
“This team has been fantastic to watch this year, coming from behind,” said Jaggard “That is one of the things I am happy with tonight. We get down one, answer quickly and tie it back up. Then, we go down 2-1, and we have an answer for that too. I love the battle — the spirit to do that. They never quit.”
In the 81st minute, Katie DeMillo nearly gave Wesmont the lead when she launched a shot from the top of the 18 that hit the corner of the far post and the crossbar before bounding past the end line. It was the Warriors’ best opportunity during the two overtime periods.
The Warriors don’t take the pitch again until Oct. 16 when they host The Master’s on Thorrington Field as part of a men’s and women’s doubleheader on Homecoming. The men will kick-off at 1 p.m. with the women following at 3:30 p.m.
Ron Smith is the sports information director at Westmont College.