Women’s soccer squad fall to Mustangs

By Robert Clinton, Sports Editor

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The defensive focused women’s soccer team  failed to contain their conference rival’s crosses into the penalty area or escape a shutout due to sustaining two in game injuries.

The Mustang’s unleashed an offensive barrage throughout the game to defeat a nine-player Comets squad 4-0 at Los Medanos College on Tuesday.

The Comets played the final 30 minutes without two of their starting 11 as they were escorted off the field due to injuries. Coach Amanda Beckenhauer was unable to substitute because of a lack of roster depth.

Contra Costa College (1-15 overall, 1-8 in the Bay Valley Conference) attempted to apply its defensive mentality from the outset but the confidence the Mustang’s offensive players dissected the gaps within its backline early on in the game.

LMC (6-8-1 overall, 4-4 in the BVC) scored the first goal of the game when a cross was sent into the penalty area was nodded into goal at four minutes.

The Mustangs received three offside penalties within the first minutes of the game as they clearly attempted to extend their single goal lead.

The flags for offside came in such rapid succession in the first that after the break LMC actually waited for CCC defenders to get to the ball before actually making a play on the ball.

By the end of the game, the Comet’s had only four shots on goal and allowed the Mustangs to get 15 shots on goal, 11 of those being on target.

CCC goalkeeper Taheerah Brewer saved ten shots on goal.

LMC quickly capitalized on its offensive efforts and scored the second goal of the game at ten minutes.

Shortly after, Brewer tried to retaliate by launching the ball from a goal kick that found CCC defender Mary Salizar in the Mustang’s defensive third of the field.

Salizar, however, was unable to position herself in time to get off a meaningful shot on goal and was dispossessed by a swarm of LMC defenders just outside the penalty area.

“You can see that we know what to do with the ball,” CCC forward Mayra Garcia said. “People know when the ball is coming and where it’s supposed to go.”

While CCC was able to pass the ball into scoring positions, LMC defenders were constantly closing down space and passing options, which resulted in many turnovers.

At 30 minutes, one of these turnovers resulted in a quick break that forced a Comet defender to foul and award the Mustang’s a free kick near the penalty area.

Brewer was able to redirect the shot that was going into goal with her fingertips, resulting in a corner kick that was also defended well.

After a failed LMC corner kick, CCC settled in defensively and began clogging all the passing lanes in center field and successfully forced the Mustangs to build plays along the sidelines.

“We came in a little passive, but when we settled in we played better.” Salizar said.

The Mustangs ended the game with five corner kicks to CCC’s one.

The Mustangs finally got out clean on the break to again to test Brewer and this time scored the goal that sent both teams into halftime at 3-0.

In this game between BVC rivals, trash talking of the first half gave way to shoulder shoves and tossing elbows during the second.

At 53 minutes, pushing between Salizar and LMC forward Devyn Kelly drew warnings from officials for both teams after Salizar was taken off the field because she was bleeding.

CCC center back Deanna Guzman was stepped by two LMC forwards seven minutes later when as she attempted to stop a possible goal scoring play by slide tackling for the ball.

The Comets played most of the second half of the game without Salizar or Guzman.

The final goal was a battle of wills between CCC defender Gibsy Vilchis and Mustang defender Janessa Veronis during a quick counter attack.

They bumped shoulders as they ran down the field. Vilchis was the last line of defense before the goalkeeper but the LMC player Veronis won the fight for position and slotted the fourth goal past Brewer.

The final score mirrored their first rivalry encounter of the season.

The Comets are scheduled to play at the Soccer Field facing the College of Marin at 2 p.m. on Tuesday.

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