This past Saturday the Lancers women’s soccer team scrapped a narrow 1-0 win against East Los Angeles College (ELAC) in a tense 90 minutes of play.
The Lancers head coach Reggie Rivas went with a 4-4-2 formation that often switched off into a 4-3-3 when attacking.
With ELAC’s field being quite larger than Robinson Stadium, the Lancers often found themselves exposed. ELAC’s wingbacks used the extra space in their favor to use their pace and open up PCC’s backline, creating dangerous plays.
In the 20th minute PCC goalkeeper Lily Urumieh was called to action when a cross from the left side threatened the goalkeeper and pounced it out of the area. Her save was the first of many that kept the Lancers in the game.
After tactical analysis from coach Rivas, he was upset that the Lancers were unable to complete plays. Rivas opted to sub in Angelica De La Cruz as a leftback and pushed Emily Matthiesen from the midfield area to an attacking right winger.
“We took elements from the first game and tried to fix them in this game,” said forward Kaitlin Ruiz. “It worked better for us to talk and communicate as team and really understand where we wanted the ball, what we wanted to play.”
His changes proved vital as De La Cruz secured the backline from any passess/crossess behind her space while Matthiesen’s precision with the ball strengthened the Lancers final third.
In the 50th minute Urumieh’s reflexes were tested when a low placed shot near the first post saw her quickly get a hand to the ball. 10 minutes later Urumieh was tested again, this time as she stretched out her hand far enough to block a shot that was headed near the bottom of her second post.
However, ELAC maintained the pressure but could not find the back of the net.
The Lancers then came in clutch in the 67th minute when a Matthiesen corner kick found Summer Hofstad’s right hip to nonchalantly see the ball go between the goalkeeper’s left side and an ELAC player on her first post.
“We had a lot of possession and did a lot of passing and we connected a lot, but we lacked in the final third,” said Hofstad. “We were lucky on that corner kick. We’ll be practicing on possession and finishing.”
The 1-0 score was almost leveled four minutes before the final whistle when an ELAC player shot outside the box hitting the top post. The ball scattered loosely inside the penalty area and a last gasp clearance from a PCC player sealed the Lancers first Southern California Conference win.
They are now in contention for playoffs if they win their last two conference games.
“The game on Tuesday the girls worked hard, but this time we defended very solid for 90 minutes,” said coach Rivas. “We need one more win to qualify for playoffs, obviously Mt. SAC and Rio Hondo are state ranked. If we can win those games we’ll put ourselves in a good opportunity to make it to playoffs.”
Most likely the woman of the match, Urumieh tallied a perfect 9/9 saves from shots on target.
The Lancers host Mt. San Antonio College on Tuesday, November 7th at 2:00 p.m., and play their final SCC regular season game away at Rio Hondo College on Friday, November 10th at 6:00 p.m.