Leopards get slugged by UC Santa Cruz

Kristen Schoenick
Staff Writer

The women’s soccer team suffered another 1-0 loss against the UC Santa Cruz Banana Slugs in a non-conference game Monday at Ortmayer Stadium.

Looking to gain another victory after a 2-1 win against Chapman on Saturday, the Leopards came out strong in the first half of the game. 

Head coach Lauryn Pehanich said that she wanted to ensure she was managing players correctly on the field as everybody matters. 

“We came off a great battle against Chapman,” Pehanich said. “When you have that mentality and momentum, you want to keep it.” 

Junior goalkeeper Evelyn Saldivar got injured during a one-on-one play early in the action, taking her out of the game. She was replaced by sophomore Abigail Macedo.

The Leopards and the Slugs both teams dominated their offensive attacks, yet were shut down before getting an opportunity to put the ball in the net. 

In the 20th minute of the game, La Verne sophomore forward Brooklyn Daley nearly scored off of a header but it was saved by the Slugs’ senior goalkeeper Alyssa Diaz-Tucker. 

Pushing in the last 15 minutes of the first half, the Leopards attacked the Slugs’ defense. 

In the 33rd minute, the Leopards almost scored after following up off of a free kick from the 40 yard line but Diaz-Tucker made the stop.

The Leopards closed out the first half with a missed shot on goal and played aggressively in the start of the second half. 

Junior forward Valerie Vera passed the ball to sophomore midfielder Alyssa Moran in an early breakaway where the ball was swept away by the Slugs’ defense. 

Moran later got fouled near the 20-yard line on the Leopards’ attacking half. The free kick was taken by sophomore midfielder Ana Preciado who just missed the net wide right. 

With the game coming to a close, the Slugs attacked the Leopards’ defense in a last minute breakaway. 

Sydney Boyd, a freshman defender for the Slugs, received the ball and crossed it to sophomore midfielder Amanda Scott, who then scored off of a header. The Slugs gained a 1-0 lead. 

“We got stuck and then got into the habit of trying to play boot-ball, which isn’t our way of playing,” Vera said. “It is unfortunate that we were not getting the results that we wanted as we could not put one away.” 

Penhanich said that the second half did not exemplify what the Leopards are capable of. 

“I think we did a really good job at recovering to defend, we just need to follow up with that same speed toward the net,” Pehanich said. “There was a lot of directness from our back line to our front line and that is not the way that we play. We want to get our midfielders involved in the play again.”

The loss leaves the Leopards at 4-5 overall and 1-2 in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

The Leopards will continue SCIAC play with a home game against Occidental at 7 p.m. Saturday and an away game against Redlands at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Kristen Schoenick can be reached at kristen.schoenick@laverne.edu.

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