For the fifth time in the history of the Westmont Women’s Soccer program, the Warriors have claimed victory over an NCAA Division I opponent. On Thursday night, the Warriors (2-0-1) recorded a 1-0 road win over Cal State Bakersfield (1-4-1).
The Warriors’ goal came in the 75th minute. Shayna Stock intercepted a pass, then sent the ball along the ground to Sydney Reese. The freshman picked up the ball 26 yards from the goal and began her dribble into the box, beating two defenders.
Reese touched the ball forward and ran onto it at the left corner of the six-yard box. With goalkeeper Hollee Hercik charging out of the goal, Reese sent the ball into the right corner for her first collegiate goal.
“It was unbelievable how Sydney drove at those defenders and then placed that back post past the keeper,” Westmont head coach Jenny Jaggard said. “It was a phenomenal finish.”
Also recording a first in today’s game was Westmont goalkeeper Maya Pablos who tallied her first career shutout. It didn’t come easy for the junior who faced 19 shots and recorded nine saves.
“Pabs made some absolutely unbelievable saves,” Jaggard said. “She was confident, distributed for us, and handled some huge pressure. She came up big for us multiple times.”
The Warriors faced a relentless attack in the early minutes of the game. The Roadrunners got off six shots in the first 20 minutes, five of which were on goal.
“It was definitely back and forth to begin with,” Jaggard said. “I think I actually made a coaching mistake with how I started us today. I made an adjustment as the result of my scouting, but I think I was wrong. It took us a while to readjust and get it right. I feel like our team struggled a little bit to have the ball and some of that was on me, today.
“It got a lot better in the second half as we took over the game. Some of that was getting the personnel in the right spot and giving the team a couple of key adjustments that we needed to do to be able to break through that team.
“Both Ande Siegel and Daisy Alvarez did a good job locking down the midfield for us. Taylie Scott had her hands full and I thought she did a really good job keeping us in the game during those scary moments. I also thought Alyssa Zahiralis played really well as did Kennah Shaffer at the right back. Kennah has the pace – today, she combined her pace with some good decisions.
“Ameila Villa had two crossbar shops and was really close to putting some quality chances away. She played brilliantly both offensively and defensively today. She was everywhere.”
The win was the first against a Division I opponent in nearly 22 years. On September 10, 2001, Westmont defeated UC Santa Barbara in a 6-4 barn burner. The Warriors also defeated the Gauchos by a score of 1-0 on September 17, 1999.
Prior to that, Westmont posted a 2-0 win over Cal State Northridge on September 4, 1995, and over Pepperdine on September 15, 1993.
Perhaps Division I schools should avoid scheduling the Warriors in the month of September.
Westmont returns to the road next Thursday when they play Cal State San Marcos (2-0). The Warriors play their first seven countable games on the road before finally opening at home on October 7.