Soccer Match Becomes Shootout

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el-vaquero-staff-writer/" class="creditline">EMIN AVAKIAN
El Vaquero Staff Writer

One team played with more intensity than the other. The other team played more strategically. In this case, strategy prevailed over intensity as Glendale lost 4-1 to College of the Canyons in Tuesday’s Women’s Soccer match.

Don’t let the score fool you, though. This game could have been much closer if not for some tough breaks.

The Cougars wasted no time getting off to a fast start as they scored the first goal of the game within just ten minutes. It did not cause Head Coach Jorge Mena and Assistant Coach Laura Matsumoto of the Vaqueros to feel pressured as they were still charged up and very happy about the team’s great effort.

Freshmen Roxana Garcia of Glendale scored the only goal for the Vaqueros to tie up the score at 1-1. It seemed like momentum was shifting to Glendale until COC countered with a goal to make it 2-1.

After this go-ahead goal, the Vaqueros seemed less energized than when the score was tied. The offense faltered, and the defense was not as intense.

COC, on the other hand, played much more calmly, and played the game to their favor meaning they forced the action and made Glendale adjust to the Cougars’ game.

Going into halftime, Mena was optimistic about his team’s play and expected better things from the second half. The game was still anybody’s to win, and both coaches had to pump up their players to play hard and pull out a win. Going into the break, Mena was not effected by his team being down, instead, he felt his team had the upper hand.

“We played well in the first half,” said Mena. “The Cougars scored two great goals, and now we have to come from behind and win this game.”
As for adjustments that his team had to make, Mena pointed out the key ones.

“The team needs to play with more patience. If we do that, and we put high-pressure on the Cougars, then we’ll be fine.”

Glendale (8-5-1 I’LL double check) looked good starting out the second half, as they did what their coach told them to do which was to play with higher pressure, more determination, and intensity. Well, the defense did anyways. The offense, however, just could not get any shots on goal and when they did, the shots went sailing. Giving credit where credit is due, the Cougar defense did a great job preventing the tying goal.

“Our team played great on both sides of the ball,” said COC Head Coach Phil Marcellin.

The Cougars scored another goal to make it 3-1 and unofficially, put this game in the record books. Mena agreed that this goal hurt his team the most.

“There is no doubt about it that the goal that put them up 3-1 hurt our players mentally,” said Mena. “And that is bound to happen to any team.”

Yes, the Vaqueros stopped playing with fire in their eyes, and yes, the Vaqueros were mentally drained, but the Vaqueros did not quit for a second as highlighted by the last twenty minutes of the game. The score at this time was 4-1, so a comeback by Glendale was very unlikely and would be one of the biggest comebacks in Glendale soccer history. The Vaqueros, fully aware of this, played with a lot of heart and played the game as if it was 0-0. The bench still cheered on their fellow players, the coaches still guided their team, and the players on the field still had many shots on goal that just missed.

“Our girl’s showed a lot in those last twenty minutes,” said Mena. “I just wish we would play like that the whole game.”

The Vaqueros, who are trying to make the playoffs, still have a good chance at getting in, but need to play a lot better than they did against the Cougars. The mind-set of everyone on the team is that they will make the playoffs, especially from the optimist head coach.

“We’ll just put this game behind us, and try to have a better showing in our next two games,” said Mena. “Each game is different, no matter what team you are or what sport you are playing in.”