In a match-up of undefeated teams, #8 Westmont Women’s Soccer tallied three second-half goals to record a 3-0 shutout over UC Merced (1-1-1) on the Bobcats’ home pitch. Amarys Machado, Ande Siegel and Reese Davidson provided the scoring to help Westmont improve its record to 4-0. So far this season, the Warriors have outscored their opponents 13-1.
“UC Merced is a very dynamic, dangerous team that likes to catch you in transition,” said Westmont head coach Jenny Jaggard of the Warriors’ opponent.”
The Bobcats came out strong to start the game and nearly took the early lead. Trinidad Quiroz took a shot in the 13th minute that ricocheted off the crossbar and back into play. She fired again, this time on target, but was thwarted by Westmont goalkeeper Kailey Meyer who smothered the ball to end the attack. Meyer has not allowed a goal this season.
“Kailey came out on a couple of crucial moments off corners and had a couple of crucial saves that kept us in it today,” noted Jaggard.
At the first-half water break, midway through the opening frame, Jaggard made some adjustments to counter Merced’s attack.
“One of the changes we made was putting Karly Kingsley at right back,” explained Jaggard. Merced’s left winger was physical and fast so we put Karly there to challenge her. We also made some personnel changes, bringing in Katie DeMillo to help in the diamond.”
“I was really proud of their second-half turnaround,” noted Jaggard. “I was upset with them at halftime because we didn’t follow the game plan in the first half. They did a good job of taking some constructive criticism and turning it into an excellent second-half performance. We had some of the best shot conversion percentage that this team has ever done with quality goals.
Westmont took four second-half shots and scored on three of them. The first goal came in the 48th minute with Machado connecting from the top of the 18-yard box.
“Amarys set herself up with a good touch and buried it with a shot in a low corner,” reported Jaggard.
Machado’s goal was her first of the season and marked the eighth Warrior to score in just four games. It was the fourth goal of the sophomore’s career.
Westmont began to pull away in the 57th minute on Siegel’s second goal of the year.
“Ande’s goal was in the run of play,” described Jaggard. “We were doing a good job of moving the ball forward and she was in a really good spot. Grace Duckens dropped the ball back to Ande and she drove it from about 30 yards out on the right-hand side into the opposite netting.”
The Warriors put the game away in the 74th minute with the fifth goal of the season by senior Reese Davidson.
“That may be one of the most fabulous header goals I have ever seen in the women’s game,” praised her coach. “She set up really close inside the box when Karly was getting ready to take the corner kick. Then she pulled out and the ball came right to her. A defender challenged her, but she was in a position where she was able to attack and go forward into it. She arched her back and jumped so high that she got over the ball and drilled it downwards toward the goal line. It was a spectacular header.”
Davidson has now scored in three of the Warriors’ four games and has produced a remarkable shot percentage of .417 (five goals on 12 shots).
Jaggard was also impressed with the play of Olivia Gabelein, Katie DeMillo and Duckens. “They created a lot for us. This is Olivia’s second game after recovering from an ACL tear. She is tremendously strong, holding balls and helping play develop. In the last 15 minutes, she helped us kill the ball by taking it to the corner. They would have two or three defenders, but no one could strip her of the ball.
“Katie almost got a goal that would have been very exciting. She made a diagonal run out of the midfield and was so close to getting on to the ball. Her moving and defending was so good.
“Grace Duckens deserves some credit for defending. She did a lot of work for us in the midfield that helped us keep the ball.”
Westmont will put their four-game winning streak on the line on Wednesday when they host Saint Katherine (1-2-1) in the second game of a men’s and women’s doubleheader at Thorrington Field. The women’s game, which is slated to kick off at 3:15 p.m., will follow a men’s match-up between Westmont and Whittier scheduled for 12:30. With a win over Saint Katherine, the Warriors can start the season 5-0 for the first time since 2016.
Ron Smith is the sports information director at Westmont College.