Reese Davidson recorded her second hat trick of the year as #12 Westmont Women’s Soccer (6-0-3, 1-0-1 GSAC) concluded a road trip to Valley of the Sun with a 5-0 win over the Firestorm of Arizona Christian (2-5-2, 0-1-1).
“It was a very good team performance,” said Westmont head coach Jenny Jaggard. “Today, the team showed up, communicated and took the defending piece of the game seriously. It set the tone for us and just didn’t give our opponent a chance to find any of their rhythm.
“Reese is on fire right now. Her work ethic, today, was outstanding both offensively and defensively.”
Davidson supplied the Warriors’ first goal in the 14th minute. Amarys Machado chipped a ball from the middle of the field to Davidson who picked it up on the dribble. The senior forward kept a half step ahead of her defender as she dribbled 20 yards down the field. When she reached the top of the box, she fired off a shot with her right foot into the far side netting.
Machado scored a goal of her own in the eighteenth minute to put the Warriors up 2-0. Sadie Hill threw the ball in from the right side to Grace Wilhelm who was unguarded. Wilhelm dribbled toward the center of the field, then chipped a pass to Machado who had her back to the goal. Machado headed the ball, then spun around her defender, dribbled toward goal and then fired a shot past the oncoming goalkeeper.
The third goal of the first half was scored by senior center back Taylie Scott, who recorded her first goal since her freshman year. Hill delivered a corner kick from the right side that went to Amelia Villa. Villa sent the ball backward to Scott who one-touched inside the far post from 10 yards out.
Davidson scored her second goal in the 73rd minute, putting Westmont up 4-0. Katie DeMillo sent a ball across on the ground from the right side. Davidson shielded her defender away from the ball, then turned and fired inside the near post from 10 yards away.
“I thought DeMillo had a standout day today,” noted Jaggard. “She made some very good plays and set her teammates up for some dangerous opportunities.”
The hat trick was completed in the 79th minute on a shot set up by Olivia Gabelein. Monica Pizano intercepted a pass in the Warriors’ half and forwarded the ball along the ground to Gabelein who was wide open. Gabelein picked up the ball about 50 yards out and dribbled down the left side of the field to the six-yard box where she encountered a Firestorm defender.
“Olivia did a fantastic job,” said Jaggard, before continuing the description of the final score. “The goalkeeper slid out to the ball while Reese was running on the back post. Olivia very agilely tapped the ball across the goal to Reese who was running on. Reese put it in the back of the net.
“It was a selfless play. It was at an angle where it wasn’t a great finish for Olivia, but a lot of players would have tried to finish it anyway. Instead, she had the composure to get her head up and see that there was somebody wide open, still onside, that would have an easy goal.”
For Davidson, the goal was her GSAC-leading 10th of the season. Of the Warriors six games, she has scored in five.
After the game, Jaggard was as pleased with her team’s defensive efforts as for the offensive output.
“I told Ande Seigel after the game that the way she came out and played at the six (defending midfielder position) in the first five minutes set the tone for the entire team, keeping the other team from getting their opportunities.
“I think their forwards (Cami Mercado and Isabelle Cruz) are two of the best attacking players in the conference,” explained Jaggard. “It is a good feeling to be able to shut them down. If you give ACU a little time and space, they are, in my opinion, a very dangerous team. You have to lock them in, take them out of their rhythm and out of their ability to send those two forwards. I was impressed that we were able to prevent those two from doing damage.”
Westmont will continue Golden State Athletic Conference play next Saturday when they return to the road to take on the Mustangs of The Master’s (2-6-2, 0-1-1) in Santa Clarita. Kick-off is scheduled for 11 a.m.
Ron Smith is the sports information director at Westmont College.