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Sunday, January 20 , 2019, 1:23 am | Fair 49º

Sports: A Noozhawk Partnership with Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table, The Lab, and American Riviera Bank
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Westmont Women Put Up 5 Goals in GSAC Opener

Westmont Women's Soccer (8-0-1, 1-0 GSAC) started Golden State Athletic Conference play with a bang, posting a 5-0 win over William Jessup (4-6, 0-1). Westmont is ranked at number 10 in the NAIA.

"The game was a testament to the last week and one-half of training," said head coach Chantel Cappuccilli, Today was the first game for the Warriors since September 15. "We saw the same level of intensity and urgency. It was completely transferable today. Over the course of the last week, we have had more players step up in training. That was evident when we made rotations. Three freshmen notched goals today, which was huge."

The Warriors' first goal came from Maddi Berthoud in the 25th minute. Teagan Matye corralled a loose ball and lofted it over defenders into free space in the box. Berthoud, sprinted toward the ball and took one touch to direct it into the goal.

The Warriors added another goal just before intermission. Alexx Hamilton, playing in her first game since August 16 due to an injury, threw in a ball from the right touchline. 

"Alex has such a presence," said Cappuccilli of the senior's return. "She has worked very hard to be in the position she is in. She came in and was confident and composed and acted like a senior. It is exciting to have her back."

Eliya Lowe flicked the ball from Hamilton down the right side with her head and Maddi Berthoud got a toe on it to send it toward the end line. 

Valerie Swisher chased down the ball near the end line and fired off a pass across the face of the goal. Matye, who was charging the net, used a single touch to fire off a shot that bounced off the bottom of the crossbar and into the goal for a score.

"Notching a goal right before the half was big for us," noted Cappuccilli. "It opened up the game. In the second half, we came out and took advantage of that momentum we finished with in the first half."

In the 60th minute, Westmont scored their third goal on a set piece. Kira Nemeth fed the ball down the left side of the field to Bri Johnson. Johnson retrieved the ball and started dribbling toward the goal when she was tripped up and the Warriors were awarded a free kick.

Johnson took the free kick and sent it toward the goal box. The ball sailed over the head of Avalon Albright, however, Hailey Parker bent low to head the ball just before it reached the ground. Parker's shot passed just inside the near post.

Westmont's Katie Stella got off a couple of shots in the 79th minute that ultimately set up the fourth goal. Stella's first shot from 15 yards out bounced off a defender and right back to her. Stella's second shot was pushed to the side by Jessup goalkeeper Camille Cavey. The ball went wide of the goal, setting up a corner kick.

Mayte took the corner kick from the left side and sent it in front of the goal where it found the head of Maddy Cuculich. The freshman redirected the shot into the net for her first collegiate goal.

Stella would score just two and one-half minutes later after a beautiful pass from Kira Nemeth. Nemeth collected a loose ball in the Warriors' half and dribbled 20 yards past the midfield line before passing the ball ahead and to the right to Stella. Stella took her first touch 25 yards out and then scored on her second touch from just inside the 18-yard box.

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