ROCKLIN — Daisy Alvarez played hero for the Warriors on Saturday afternoon, scoring on a free kick from 25 yards out in the 108th minute to give the Westmont Women’s soccer team (10-1-3, 6-0-2 GSAC) a 2-1 double-overtime win over William Jessup (9-5-2, 3-3-2).
With the win, Westmont clinched a share of the Golden State Athletic Conference Regular Season Co-Championship.
The conference title marks the 100th time Westmont teams have claimed a GSAC Championship.
“Our team is so excited to clinch the title,” said Westmont head coach Jenny Jaggard. “This conference season has been a battle, and we have done a good job to consistently grind out results.”
The Warriors went undefeated in regular season conference play for the second straight season. They have not lost a conference game in more than two years.
Reese Davidson put the first tally on the board for the Warriors with a goal in the 15th minute. Davidson intercepted a pass from a defender, dribbled toward the goal and let go a shot from the top of the 18-yard box that found the back of the net.
“Reese scored one of the best goals of the season from outside the box,” reported Jaggard. “It was like a bullet. Their keeper had no chance to save it.”
The Warriors took the 1-0 lead into halftime, but less than two minutes after the intermission, Jessup’s Alhan Bakideh found the equalizer. After receiving a pass from Kaylee Gillespie, Bakideh’s shot hit the crossbar, then bounced past the goal line.
In the 83rd minute, Jessup’s Sophia Patterson was presented with a red card, removing her from the game and requiring her team to play one person down the rest of the contest
With less than three minutes remaining in the second overtime period, Shayna Stock sent a ball forward from just beyond midfield toward Amarys Machado. Machado was hit from behind by a Jessup player and a foul was called by the center official. That set up Alvarez’ free kick.
“We were pretty fatigued today,” acknowledged Jaggard, “but I am so proud of how the team battled through two overtimes and how Daisy was able to put away the game winner with a free kick outside the box. This is the fourth goal she has scored this season from free kicks.”
Westmont produced 37 shots during the game compared to seven by Jessup. The Warriors from Montecito placed 17 of their attempts on target compared to just four by their counterparts from Rocklin.
“Our team defending this week has been very impressive, “assessed Jaggard, “nearly eliminating our opponents’ offensive threats and allowing us to generate some of the highest offensive stats I have ever seen from a team.”
As a result of Saturday’s victory, combined with a 4-0 win by Ottawa, Ariz. (10-3-3, 4-1-3) over Arizona Christian (3-11-1, 0-7-1), the Warriors earned the right to host the GSAC Tournament semifinals and finals on Nov. 11 and 13.
Westmont has a bye in next week’s quarterfinal round, as does Hope International (11-0-2, 6-0-2) who claimed a share of the GSAC Regular Season Title with a 2-0 win over San Diego Christian (2-11, 1-7).
The quarterfinals on Saturday will feature William Jessup (9-5-2, 3-3-2) at The Master’s (9-3-3, 5-3) and Menlo at Ottawa.
The lowest-remaining seed emerging from the quarters will take on Westmont in a semifinal game beginning at 1:30 p.m. November 11. Westmont’s game will follow the semifinal game featuring Hope International against the other victorious team in the quarterfinals.
In regard to receiving a bye next weekend, Jaggard said, “We are looking forward to a week of training to recover and fine tune our offensive ideas in the final third.”
Tickets for the semifinals and finals are available at gsacsports.org/tickets. Westmont Athletics is offering free tickets to the first 100 Westmont students who use a passcode to receive one free ticket. The passcode will be made available next week.
Westmont students who receive a free ticket should be prepared to show a student ID at the gate. Under GSAC Ticket policy, passes are not available to Westmont faculty and staff for postseason competition.
Ron Smith is the sports information director at Westmont College.