Comets unable to match Knights’ speed

Women’s soccer squad loses in season opener, 2-1

Comet defender Gibsy Vilchis (right) battles for possession against Knights’ forward Tabitha Gibson (left) during the first half of CCC’s 4-2 loss to Shasta College on the Soccer Field on Aug. 27.

By Robert Clinton, Staff Writer

The women’s soccer team lost its preseason opener 4-2 to Shasta College at the Soccer Field on Aug. 27.

The Comets (0-1 overall) were unable to match the Knights’ superior speed as all of Shasta’s three first half goals came during fast breaks.

The lone bright spot of the first half for the Comets came at the 25 minute mark when Marielena Salazar lobbed a shot from 35-feet out that dropped below the crossbar and rested peacefully at the base of the net.

Despite all of the first half miscues, Contra Costa College did get three shots on goal but at the end of the game the Knights goalkeeper Kylee Stutzman, had six saves.

“Their goalie played (well),” the Comet coach Amanda Beckenhauer said. “She was well positioned all game.”

Shoddy passing and poor communication plagued CCC in the first half. A contributing factor to the Comets’ early disorderly play may have been due to a lack of conditioning.

Chasing errant passes and Shasta wingers left many players gasping to catch their breath on the 13-woman roster.

Fatigue took its toll on both squads in the second half as Knight and Comet players went down with muscle cramps.

“The team needs to work together more, communicate and move better,” Comet midfielder Abigail Perez said. “I’m still getting back into playing shape so I’m just going out there and playing as hard as I can.”

Shasta dominated the first half, however, the second half told a different story.

CCC played with a heightened sense of urgency as the final 45 minutes of play developed, although many chances on goal were rushed and opportunities were wasted.

Shasta had three shots on goal.

All three of the Shasta shots were defended by Comet goalkeeper Christy Garcia within the first 10 minutes of the second half, compared to the three Knight attempts which found the back of the net in the first 20 minutes of the game.

The slower tempo of play during the second half worked in the Comets’ favor. The increased physical nature allowed CCC to be in a better defensive position during transition, which limited the open passing that led to the Knights’ players running into space and dominating the first half.

“We defended a lot better in the second half than we did in the first half,” Comet sophomore Lucia Barboza-Mariscal said. “We have to step it up from the moment the ball rolls until the referee blows the whistle. In the second half we communicated better and played better.”