Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
WHITTIER, Calif. – The Whittier College Women's Soccer team fell unlucky Thursday night as they suffered a 1-0 loss to UC Santa Cruz coming on a penalty kick.
The Purple & Gold end their non-conference schedule and drop to 0-2-1, while UC Santa Cruz improves to 2-1-1.
The game was decided in the final ten minutes with the Banana Slugs drawing a yellow card in the box. A UCSC midfielder had gotten through the backline and the Poet defense was forced to make a hard foul sending Julia Hernandez to the line. Her ensuing shot went straight as sophomore keeper Vanessa Martinez (La Mirada, Calif.) got off her line diving to her left. She was unable to recover back in position as UCSC would pull off the road victory.
Whittier controlled all aspects of the game outshooting UCSC 13-8 with five being on frame. They also held the advantage on corner kicks 3-1. WC had an opportunity early. In the 9th minute Joey Wescott (Agoura Hills, Calif.) took a strike but had it blocked just on top of the box. She managed to gather the deflection and ripped off another but this time would get denied by the crossbar as she tried to go top shelf.
Within the next ten minutes Whittier would get off another three shots coming from Wescott, Janelle Guzman (Montebello, Calif.), and Makayla Moraga (Whittier, Calif.). But all three would be off the mark. In the 39th minute freshman Mackenzie Reed had a look in the box going one on two, which included the Banana Slug keeper but she would take her strike right at Alyssa Diaz-Tucker sending the game into the half scoreless.
Out of the break Whittier continued to push the tempo with Erin Myers (Hacienda Heights, Calif.) getting a shot off, which would get denied by Diaz-Tucker. A ball served into the box for the Poets two minutes later would find the head of Jazmin Gomez (Norwalk, Calif.) but her shot would miss wide. In the 81st minute Whittier picked up a crucial corner kick, which was taken by Wescott. She found Monica Garcia (San Bernardino, Calif.) at the 18 but her connection would also be stopped by Diaz-Tucker.
Martinez played all 90:00 minutes and finished with five stops. Wescott finished with three shots and Moraga and Reed each added two.
Whittier returns to the field Saturday, September 14 at 11:00am when they host Chapman University to open Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) play.