In a game critical to their playoff chances, the Lady Vaqueros soccer team fell to the Citrus College Lady Owls 1-0 on Friday at Sartoris field.
The loss dropped Glendale’s record to 3-3-2 in Western State Conference play (6-6-4 overall), and denied them a season series win over Citrus, whom they defeated earlier this season at Citrus, 2-1.
The Owls’ Kourtney Mount scored the lone goal of the game 28 minutes in. After a Glendale and Citrus player collided in Vaquero territory, the ball bounced free, allowing Mount a shot from the left side from fifteen yards out.
“[My teammate] had it and tried to score, and it was just there, so I ran as hard as I could and kicked the ball,” said Mount.
From the outset, the Owls (3-4 in WSC) established their physical play, frustrating the Vaqueros by throwing them off their rhythm. The game featured several collisions, including freshman Dania Pur getting tangled up with a Citrus player at midfield in the first half, which left her lying on the ground for several minutes before being helped up.
“We always play physical and as hard as we can,” Mount said, commenting on the rough style of play.
Vaquero head coach Jorge Mena said he thought his team got caught up in the Owls physical play, and that his team was pressing too much when they fell behind.
“We couldn’t get into our game,” Mena said. “We tried to settle things down. Once it’s 1-0 and you know you can beat them you start rushing things…we just couldn’t get the goal that we needed.”
Mena knows the importance of winning now as the Vaqs look toward a playoff spot. “It’s a
game you lose, and you’re
running out of time.”
It wasn’t as if the Vaqs didn’t have their chances to score, even multiple times. Glendale made hard pushes to score as the game neared its end. Natalie Diaz’s shot hit the cross bar late in the
game and Catalina Vrrego missed from point blank range during stoppage time.
“They had a lucky goal, and we had a lot of chances that we didn’t convert that we should have,” said Vaquero sweeper Jennifer Oneil.
Of the missed opportunities, Oneil said, “it makes you want to pull your hair out.”
Oneil was also banged up after the game, her left quadricep wrapped in ice. Injuries are part of the game, and the Vaqs understand they must push through this as competition heats up.
“We have a lot of people that are hurt right now…everyone’s tired, and all the other teams are stepping up their intensity, you know, the games start to matter more,” Oneil said.
Glendale’s next game is Friday on the road against L.A. Mission College before returning home Tuesday to play L.A. Valley College.