The College of the Canyons women’s soccer team wasted no time showcasing its offensive power in a Western State Conference, South Division matchup against Glendale Community College at Glendale on Tuesday.
Scoring two early goals to begin the game, Canyons dominated the Vaqueros from start to finish, winning 5-1.
“It’s always good to get a win and play well,” said Canyons head coach Justin Lundin. “Today was pretty much what we expected to see. We are hoping to build and see if we can’t play a little bit quicker in some of the bigger games.”
Canyons’ Lesly Cabrera, Andrea Murrufo and Araceli Castaneda jump-started the Cougars attack in the first half, finding each other in space, but both opportunities were snuffed out by the hosts.
Breaking through for the game’s first goal, Jennifer Roney collected a ball that was crossed into the goalie box, took a touch to control the pass and used the topside of her foot to put a shot on net that hit the crossbar and bounced past the line to give Canyons a 1-0 lead just five minutes into the game.
Three minutes later, the Cougars (6-5-3 overall, 3-2-2 WSC, South) struck again as Briana De Santiago crossed a ball into the middle of the pitch, but the pass was deflected and stolen. Castaneda made a quick move to steal the ball and punched it in from just feet away for the second goal of the game.
”Goal scoring hasn’t really been our strong suit this year, so anytime we can score a goal early and settle down a little bit I think that also helps us to get a few more,” Lundin said.
From the opening kick, Glendale tried to create opportunities trying to find Ani Krikorian up top, but just couldn’t find the connecting pass or the miscue to get her the ball.
In the 27th minute, Canyons went down a man as a Vaqueros player attempted a reckless steal against Emily Perez, knocking her out of the game.
Ten minutes later, two Cougars scoring opportunities came up just short as Marruffo’s shot from 15-yards out hit the crossbar and again in the 36th minute as sub Brooke Chambers’ shot hit the bar.
Capitalizing on the following play, Chambers netted the Cougars’ third goal of the half as she was in the right place at the right time. Maggie Maldonado sprinted down the right sideline, crossing shot that the Glendale keeper was able to get a hand to knock it off its trajectory.
In a stroke of luck, the ball landed at Chambers feet for the easy tap-in goal to put Canyons ahead 3-0.
”Brooke is a hard worker, a dynamic player and she can score goals,” Lundin said. “Right now, she is a little bit in her own head and a in a funk having a hard time finding the back of the net. We are hoping that she can come out of that soon because we know she can score goals and we are just waiting for that player to come back out again like she was earlier in the year.”
Three minutes into the second half, De Santiago nestled a shot into the side netting in what seemed the be the final dagger, giving Canyons 4-0 lead.
Glendale (5-9-1, 1-5-1) however, responded as Meenelly Banoian was left unguarded in the middle of the pitch from about 20-yards out from the Canyons goal. Getting a pass, Banoian struck a ball that landed in the back of the next for Glendale’s first to bring the score to 4-1 and negate the shutout.
With the game in control, Canyons netted the game’s final goal with 11 minutes remaining Santiago scored her second goal of the game on a cheeky shot from the right side of the 18-yard box to secure the win for the visitors.
Canyons travels to Antelope Valley to take on the Antelopes at 7 p.m. on Friday.
“Coming out of the back, I think we need to be a bit sharper,” Lundin said. “We need to make sure that we are a little quicker to transitions so we don’t get caught in the counterattack. We are definitely going to have to pick up the speed of play and be ready for the physicality because anytime we play against them, they bring it.”