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Tuesday, December 11 , 2018, 2:40 pm | Fair 66º

Sports: A Noozhawk Partnership with Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table, The Lab, and American Riviera Bank
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Precise Shooting Gives Westmont a 3-1 Win over Hope International

In the first of three critical games over the next two weeks, No. 6-ranked Westmont Women's Soccer (10-1-1, 4-0-1 GSAC) posted a 3-1 win over Hope International (6-4-2, 3-1-1) to take over sole possession of second place in the Golden State Athletic Conference standings. 

The game's first goal came in the 23rd minute after Ariel Johnston had a throw-in from near the left corner. Johnston delivered the ball to Jackie Lopez on the left side of the box and Lopez sent it back to Johnston who crossed it in front of the goal. Grayce DeGroot received the pass near the left post and fired between the post and the keeper into the far side-netting.

"The goals that we finished today were very well placed and accurate," said Westmont head coach Chantel Cappuccilli. "The attacking group's ability to do that this afternoon was a highlight and a credit to them."

Just eight minutes later, Hope found an equalizer. Leigha Williams crossed the ball to Jazzmyn Esquivel who headed a ball that took one bounce and landed in the far, left corner of the net.

The game remained tied until the 71st minute when Maddi Berthoud scored a dazzling unassisted goal. Lopez won a ball and dribbled down the middle of the field toward the goal. Berthoud was inside the box on the left side when Lopez passed the ball to her. 

Berthoud squared off with a defender, then broke free and fired off a shot from just inside the 18-yard box. The ball slipped over the goalkeeper's outstretched hands and just under the cross bar, landing in the upper-V.

In the 75th minute, a defender attempted to clear a ball on the left side but DeGroot was able to corral the ball. DeGroot kicked the ball to Hailey Parker on the right side of the box. DeGroot collected the ball and fired from 17-yards out, putting the ball in the left-V. 

"In the second half, we were more composed in front of goal," said Cappuccilli. "Grayce was able to get another goal today, giving her two goals in two days, and Hailey Parker and Maddi Berthoud were able to get a goal each. Having more finishers at this point in our season is important. Destinee Adams, Alanna Richards and Jackie Lopez held it down in the middle part of the field."

While the Warriors were defeating the Royals, Vanguard (9-3, 5-0) claimed a 3-1 victory over The Master's (11-2, 4-1). As a result, Vanguard remained in first place with 15 points, Westmont moved into second with 13, The Master's dropped into third with 12 points and Hope International became the fourth-place team with 10 points.

Saturday, the Mustangs and Warriors will trade dance partners with the Mustangs hosting the Royals and Westmont hosting Vanguard. Then on Saturday, October 14, the do-si-do will complete the cycle with the Royals hosting Vanguard and Westmont hosting The Master's.

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