For the second time this season, the Lancers women’s soccer team blew away their opponent, East Los Angeles College, scoring 12 goals in the process, and finishing with a clean sheet. They scored the most goals for the team in over 23 years. Normally a team would have celebrated after it broke a record that stood for over two decades, but this team is still trying to find their way, and they’ve suffered some agonizing defeats the past four matchups.
“We’re playing a 3-5-2,” head coach Soelberg said. “We played 5-4-1 against Rio Hondo just because they’re a really good team, so we were playing more defensively that game. And I think that by playing 5-4-1 we kept them 1-0 at the half. So I think that did well. We just struggled finishing them out because we ended up losing 6-1.”
Coming into the season, freshman coach Soelberg had visions of the team playing a 4-3-3, an attacking style formation. There have been delays in the success of the new formation that they’re running, which is why many players were somber about the victory that brought them to 4-9 overall for the season. Freshman forward Juanita Diaz also felt that they could have played better.
“Honestly the level of the team we played against wasn’t very good,” Diaz said. “We definitely need the win for our confidence, but I think we’ve played better against better teams, and even though we haven’t gotten the same results from other teams, we definitely have played better than we did yesterday.”
While Diaz managed to score two goals and had an assist, the game did help some other players with their confidence. As the team’s second striker, Mia Bedoyan, had only scored one goal against Victor Valley almost a month from today. Coming off of rib and ankle injuries, she was able to score a hat trick and earn an assist.
“Going into the game I felt like we had really good preparation,” Bedoyan said. “We had a good team bonding in the locker room too, so I felt like that lifted our spirits. And then coming from a loss I think we just put it together we got this game. We need to have this game in the bag. And I think we got into the game and executed it as well as we thought we would.”
This was the second time that the Lancers played against a team that was short on reserves. When they defeated Victory Valley September 7, they registered 10 student-athletes with at least 90 minutes for the duration of the game. This time at least 10 of the student-athletes from East Los Angeles City College played 84 minutes or more in a 90 minute game. And the average student-athlete from ELAC played 82.5 minutes. On the other hand, only Gabby Morales, Erin Trainor, and Olivia Aguilar played more than 85 minutes, while the team averaged 56 minutes per student-athlete.
“It wasn’t a game that I’d be really excited about,” head coach Soelberg said. “Because I feel like I want us to beat some other teams. Not just the ones that have ten players on the field.”
As the Lancers continued to work out the kinks of their formation, they started preparing for their next opponent, Mt. San Antonio College. They will face a Mt. San Antonio team Friday that are riding a 4 game win streak, 4-1-2 at home, and 8-2-2 overall.
“I am excited that they were able to get a shutout,” Soelberg said. “They moved the ball around, we got some stats in, we got some goals in the back of the net, built their confidence, and I hope we can take that with us to our Friday game.”
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