Lancer’s women’s soccer managed to get their head back into the game Friday against Long Beach City College at their home field by scoring three header goals to come back from a 2-goal deficit and finish with a 3-3 tie.
Even with the cooling temperatures, the Vikings’ tempers ran hot as they lost control at the end of the game and picked up two yellow cards.
The Lancers kept the ball in the air the first half of the game with defense heading the ball and plenty of long passes the offense couldn’t reach in time and fended-off by Long Beach defense.
Pasadena was playing loose, while Long Beach maintained ball-control and made accurate passes on the ground.
The Long Beach offense took advantage early in the game, intercepting bad passes and keeping the ball in Lancers territory. Pasadena’s defense was challenged as sophomore midfielder, Rachel Schroeder blocked a corner kick with a header that would have surely scored.
The Lancers defense managed to pull Long Beach offside twice as the Vikings stuck close to the goal. Lancers Kelly Youseff and Talar Boshgezenyan held down defense, protecting freshman goal keeper Natalie Martin.
Long Beach midfielder Katie Yamaguchi scored the first goal against Pasadena 30 minutes into the game as she flew through the Lancers defense after a pass and hooked a low shot into the corner of the goal.
Minutes later, Long Beach defender Niki Voulgaris scored against Pasadena on a free-kick from a foul at the 35 yard line that Martin seemed unprepared for. The shot flew over the Lancers defense and seemed to fall right into the net with amazing luck.
Martin was prepared for the next attempt as she prevented another potential score and the Lancers answered back with a long drive-shot from Youseff almost 60 yards away that nearly scored.
Lancers freshman midfielder Sandra Ambrosio had enough Long Beach breakaways and with her powerful left foot, began driving the ball into the Long Beach defense and aggressively intercepting passes to shut-out plays shortly before the first half ended with Long Beach up 2-0.
The Lancers took to the field the second half with a more intense energy level but kept cool as Long Beach suddenly began playing a heavy contact game, drawing jeers from the stands and complaints from the coaching staff. Pasadena turned the tables and began dominating the game.
“We have the ability to win and compete,” Yousseff said. “A switch went off.”
Lancers sophomore midfielder Nathalie Feil scored Pasadena’s first goal with a head shot assisted by a corner kick from Lancers sophomore defender, Michelle Morales with 36 minutes left.
Just over five minutes later, Long Beach fought back as their freshman midfielder, Stephanie Barrera, outran the Lancers defense and edged in a corner shot, scoring their third and final goal.
Lancer midfielders gave the defense a break and began pushing the ball back into the Long Beach defense and holding the line while keeping the ball in with many passes to the Lancers offense.
Youseff, with an aim like an NFL quarterback, assisted the second goal on a throw-in to Schroeder, who headed the ball into the net. Only 15 minutes remained in the game. The score was now 3-2 Vikings.
Long Beach changed goalkeepers twice as they began to panic. The Long Beach goalkeeper sophomore Evelyn Fierros, became hostile, screaming at her players and pushing teammates over the edge as the Lancers coaching staff reminded their team to let it go and to stay focused.
Just three minutes later, Youseff made another throw-in assist to Boshgezenyan, who scored with a header that glanced off the goal post, tying the game 3-3.
Long Beach tried two more shots on goal but had a tough time getting past Youseff as she charged through Long Beach players as if they were bowling pins.
“It’s a small field so there’s more contact than usual but Kelly, our center back, is valuable everywhere on the field,” said assistant coach Andrea Otero. “Kelly’s definitely our valuable player today.”
The last 10 minutes of the game were an on-field battle with three yellow cards; two against Long Beach and one against Pasadena’s Schroeder.
“We were frustrating them and we kept it cool,” Schroeder said.