The SBCC women’s soccer team began its 2022 campaign Friday afternoon and couldn’t have gotten out to a better start, besting LA Harbor by a final score of 4-0.
A large number of Vaqueros saw the pitch, while four different goalscorers found the back of the net and SBCC got out to its second consecutive 1-0 start.
The Vaqueros dominated possession from the outset and when they got their chances, they made them count. In the 9th minute, sophomore forward Theresa English – the team’s leading goalscorer in 2021 – picked up right where she left off at the end of last season.
A ball headed forward from the midfield by freshman Gizela Hermeno took a poor deflection off an LA Harbor player, and the race was on as it approached the box. Despite the last defender having about a 10-yard head start, English powered ahead to claim possession as the center back took a spill. English then decisively cut inside before beating the keeper near post for the first goal of the year.
Roughly 10 minutes later, the Vaqueros caught the Seahawks on the counter with some quick movement out from their defensive third. Sophomore Hanna Crawford played it forward from the right back position with her favored left foot, and forward Aly Springer took it in stride off the chest as she broke away from the Seahawks back line in midfield. Springer then fired a low, hard-hit ball inside the far left post from the edge of the box to double the Vaqueros’ lead.
Santa Barbara would snag its third goal of the opening half in the 34th minute, with English once again contributing. The Modesto, Calif. native found herself with a lot of space down the left wing, taking it to the byline before placing a perfect cross off the head of midfielder Hannah McLain and in, making it 3-0.
Freshman forward Aisha Camara showed her potential while playing much of the second half. She had a shot saved early on and nearly scored on a strong take with the right foot that caromed straight down off the crossbar. In the dying minutes of the match, she would get her goal, being set up by Springer on a 1-on-1 that she easily slotted past the keeper.
The four goals were the most the Vaqueros have scored in a season-opener since 2013, when they defeated LA Harbor 7-0. While the second half didn’t produce many fireworks, they were able to get some valuable first-time experience for a handful of players as the second unit took up much of the second half.
The SBCC football team showed its support with some loud, energetic cheers throughout most of the second half. The noise reached several crescendos, including on some nifty moves by midfielder Maisie Moore and Camara as they moved past multiple defenders in style.
The Vaqueros hit the road for the Ventura Tournament on Wednesday to face Orange Coast at 6:30 p.m.
Michael Jorgenson works in communications/media relations at Santa Barbara City College.