Women take SCIAC opener from Occidental, 2-1

Kat Simonelli
Sports Editor
Autumn Simon
Staff Writer

The women’s soccer team defeated the Occidental Tigers, 2-1, Wednesday in its first Southern California Intercol­legi­ate Athletic Conference match of the season.

This puts the Leopards at 1-0 in SCIAC play and 3-1-1 overall.

“The girls have been training really hard, coming to this game they knew they were going to have to defend very well because of Occidental’s front line,” head coach Lauryn Pehanich said. “They are really focused on their goal of being in the top four in the SCIAC.”

The game started off slow, until six minutes in when freshman goalkeeper Jasmine Valadez punted the ball and sophomore defender Cambria Smith managed to get a head on it to flick it into some space for senior forward Tatiana Raygoza.

Raygoza then found an opening, saw her shot and took it, putting the Leopards up, 1-0.

“I saw her there and you know had the idea and it was really just lucky placement and then she did a good job at putting it away,” Smith said. “It felt great and it was just an amazing goal.”

Occidental tried to come back with several shots, but Valadez managed to keep a clean sheet for the rest of the first half.

The Leopards scored their second goal on a missed attempt by Raygoza.

Raygoza tried to shoot, but missed the ball and it was played to senior forward Cassidy Schweiger, who caught the goalkeeper off guard and was able to put the ball in the back of the net.

“I was just running in the box and I was waiting for something to come out and it did and I scored the goal,” Schweiger said. “I did not hit the ball that hard and I was not expecting it to go in and it went in.”

While Valadez was able to make some great plays in both halves, she was unable to keep her clean sheet in the second.

Occidental sophomore defender Anissa Raja scored their first and only goal of the night, 85 minutes in, off of a free kick taken by senior defender Kelsey Hung.

It was not enough however as the Leopards were still on top and walked away with the win.

Pehanich noticed the Leopards losing momentum in the second half, but encouraged them to gain their composure by the end of the game.

“There is a lesson learned in every game, today was all about teamwork and it takes a full team to compete with really good players,” Pehanich said.

The Leopards will take on the Whittier Poets at 7 p.m. Saturday at Ortmayer Stadium.

Kat Simonelli can be reached at kathryn.simonelli@laverne.edu.

Autumn Simon can be reached at autumn.simon@laverne.edu.

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