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Westmont Women Roar Back From Early Deficit, Win 3-1

Maddi Berthoud scored twice and Katie Stella added another as #12 Westmont Women's Soccer (11-1-2, 4-1-1 GSAC) picked up a 3-1 Golden State Athletic Conference win over San Diego Christian (3-6, 1-5) at Thorrington Field.

Before the game, the team honored it seniors – Vanessa Larson, Alexx Hamilton, Haylee Lopes and Hailey Parker. Also honored was Rachel Pokipala, who suffered a career ending injury after her sophomore year but who has continued to be a part of the team by serving as a student athletic trainer.

As the game started, Lopes, a team captain, found herself on the pitch for the first time this season. An injury has kept her sidelined, but today was different and she spent the first minute of the game on the field.

"Lopes has played a significant role," said head coach Chantel Cappuccilli. "Even though she has been out due to injury, we wanted to honor her in that way."

The Warriors found themselves in an early deficit when the Hawks' Jessica Taylor picked up a loose ball in the first minute of play and scored for San Diego Christian. Taylor fired a laser from the 28 yards out on the right side, putting the ball in the left-hand corner of the net.

"The first half, we came out flat," said Cappuccilli. "Unfortunately, it took us a little bit to come alive. In the second half, after making some adjustments, we were able to work ourselves through those bouts of energy loss. Things started to open up for us and we were able to create a considerable amount."

The Warriors pulled even in the 27th minute when Teagan Matye served a ball from just inside the left touch line. Berthoud was waiting near the far post and took just one touch to direct the ball into the net from two yards out.

Westmont took its first lead of the game in the 65th minute on Stella's goal. Valerie Swisher dribbled the ball down the right side of the field before sending it ahead to Berthoud. Berthoud collected the ball and sent it to Eliya Lowe who was near the top right-hand corner of the 18-yard box. Lowe, took a touch, then passed to Stella in the middle of the field. Stella fired off a shot from 17 yards out into the right-hand corner, giving Westmont a 2-1 advantage. 

"When Katie came in, she was able to be dynamic and make runs in behind their defense," offered Cappuccilli. "That helped us and put us in a position to score that second goal. It was a goal we really needed."

In the 77th minute, Swisher dispossessed a Hawk of the ball on the right-hand side of the field and sent a lob over the San Diego Christian defenders.  Berthoud, who was in behind the defenders, redirected the pass with a single touch into the into the left-hand corner.

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