By RON SMITH
WESTMONT COLLEGE WRITER
Westmont women’s soccer (4-1-1) posted a decisive victory Friday at the Montecito college’s Thorrington Field, defeating the Pioneers of Antelope Valley (1-4) by a score of 3-0.
The 18th-ranked Warriors controlled the game from the opening kick-off, denying the Pioneers even a single shot and tallying a 12-0 shots-on-goal advantage.
“Getting some quality goals today is a huge relief,” said Westmont head coach Jenny Jaggard on Friday. “Being able to put away three was a good thing today. We were tired, so we went very deep on the bench. It was great to see those players in different combinations. We played a couple of different shapes today and we also had some new set pieces that we were trying. So, we threw a lot at our opponent. We are trying to shape things for GSAC and have a lot up our sleeve.”
The Warriors fielded 21 different players Friday as the coach took advantage of the team’s dominance to experiment with different combinations of players and get everyone some playing time.
The first goal of the game followed a corner kick by Ande Siegel in the 22nd minute. Siegel’s kick went to the far side where it found Shayna Stock. Stock sent the ball back to Teagan Matye whose shot from the top of the 18 found the crease on the right-hand side. It would not be the last time Stock and Matye teamed up for a goal.
Grace Duckens took a free kick in the 35th minute from just outside the 18-yard box on the right side. Duckens’ shot bent around the three-person wall on the left side but was corralled by Vasquez before it could do any damage.
Just 25 seconds later, however, Duckens gave the Warriors a 2-0 lead off a pass from Reese Davidson. Davidson dribbled to the top of the 18 and sent the ball along the ground to Duckens. Duckens picked up the dribble and fired off a shot inside the near post that hit the top of the netting for the score.
“The first half, Antelope Valley presented a new problem for us,” noted Jaggard. “Every game we run into something different that we have to learn how to break down. They normally play a 4-3-3 (formation), but with us pressing them in so much, their wingers dropped so they were sitting in deep blocks of a 4-5-1. It is a lot to be able to break that down and get quality opportunities.
“I was pleased with the adjustments at halftime. Our midfield was a little more dynamic so that we could pull them out and make them step to us. Then we could play combinations in behind. That opened up a little bit in the second half as we adjusted the game and didn’t just try to dump balls deep, which was happening too much early. We are still learning to read those cues: When is it on to play through and when is it on to play the ball on feet?”
Westmont’s third goal came in the 67th minute when Stock dribbled near the end line then passed back to Matye. The senior midfielder recorded her second goal of the game on a shot from nine yards out on the left side.
“There is a little relationship building there,” said Jaggard of Stock and Matye combining twice for goals. “We are definitely starting to see some chemistry between different pairs of players depending on what shape we are playing.”
Kailey Meyer played in goal the first half for the Warriors and Charlotte Chipembere took over net-tending duties in the second.
“Char put in a solid half for us in goal,” remarked Jaggard. “With her confidence and the way she is training, she is doing a good job of challenging Kailey for that spot. The two of them keep each other sharp. It is nice to have a back-up keeper like that.”
With Westmont’s scheduled game Monday against Westcliff canceled, the Warriors will not play again until the start of Golden State Athletic Conference play on Thursday. Westmont will host the Hawks of San Diego Christian on that date as part of a men’s and women’s doubleheader with the men kicking off at 1 p.m. on Thorrington Field and the women following at 3:30 p.m.
Ron Smith is the Westmont College sports information director.