GCC’s women soccer team played host to the Oxnard Eagles Friday at the Glendale Sports Complex in a game that included three lead changes but ended in a 3-3 tie, making the Vaqueros (1-1-2).
Both teams wasted no time attacking the goal, but Glendale made the first impact. Abby Castellon broke away from a defender and shifted to the right all in a single fluid motion that left the defender watching helplessly as Castellon kicked a straight shot that gave the Vaqueros a 1-0 lead.
“We scored in the first five minutes and that dictated how the game was going to be played,” Said head coach Jorge Mena. “We wanted to come out and play aggressive.”
The lead for Glendale was short-lived as Oxnard scored a goal after Sabrina Ball took the ball and dribbled through at least three Vaquero defenders and tied the game at 1-1.
The game slowed down as the goalies for both sides became more vocal and demanded more pressure from their defense.
The pressure was short-lived as Oxnard took a corner kick and Ball scored another goal and gave the Eagles their first lead while the Vaqueros stood frozen on defense.
Glendale started playing with a sense of urgency after the goal and came close to tying it up on a penalty kick by Mary Buchan that was stopped by the Eagles goalie.
The tying goal came on a free kick after Sally Fanfan was fouled. She shot a beautifully winding Beckham-esque shot from the left side of the field which was impossible to stop, and it tied the game at 2-2 going into the half.
Glendale missed several chances to take the lead in the second half.
After many missed attempts, a goal was made by Castellon that gave the Vaqueros their first lead since the game was 1-0.
The goal came with the Oxnard goalie diving for a loose ball and Castellon chipping the ball over her and falling over the goalie.
“I thought we improved a great deal in the second-half.” Mena said.
The Vaqueros now had the 3-2 lead and seemed winded and tired in the final minutes of the game, which left their goal vulnerable to the Eagles.
“Our main problem is the defense at the end of games,” Mena said. “We were unable to hold onto the lead and they (Oxnard) got the goal to tie the game.”
The backbreaking goal came with seven minutes left. Daysi Ruiz-Velasco of Oxnard took the ball from mid-field and with a burst of speed got near the goal and rocketed a shot to the right of the net making the final score 3-3.
The Vaqueros staff seems optimistic about improvement in the team and believes they have yet to tap into their full potential.
“Right now we’re playing at 75 percent,” said Mena. “Hopefully, we can get to about 90 percent and then we’ll be real tough to beat.”
The next home game for the Vaqueros is on Oct. 3 when they face L.A. Valley College at 4 p.m. at the Glendale Sports Complex.