Brooke Lillywhite converted a penalty kick in the 67th minute to clinch third-ranked Westmont women’s soccer its first Golden State Athletic Conference win of the season, a 2-1 decision over Hope International on Wednesday in Fullerton.
Hailey Parker drew a foul in the penalty area and Lillywhite stepped up and delivered the eventual game winner.
“I have full confidence in Brooke’s composure to be able to handle a pressure situation like that,” said Westmont coach Chantel Cappuccilli.
Within the first 20 minutes of play the undefeated Warriors had all of the offensive action, with three shots and a corner kick.
However, in the 21st minute the Royals capitalized on their first chance on goal after they drew a foul and earned a free kick from 35 yards out. Leigha Williams took the free kick and found the head of Jazzmyn Esquivel to give the Royals a 1-0 lead.
Westmont’s Maddi Berthoud answered back 20 seconds later. The goal began when Hope International goalkeeper Jacqueline Talley deflected a shot by Lillywhite. Berthoud then capitalized off of the rebound with a slotted shot into the left side of the goal.
The Royals battled to even the score until the final whistle and had three shots and a corner kick within the last four minutes of the game. But the Warriors kept them at bay.
“Hope International did well against us today and put us under a good amount of defensive pressure,” noted Cappuccilli. “We had significant offensive opportunities going forward, but we just didn’t capitalize in the moments that we should have.”
Westmont had 22 shots, with nine of those shots on goal; the Royals had seven shots, with two on goal.
“I believe that our response to come back from a moment like that was big,” reflected Cappuccilli. “You are on the road and you go down a goal, so what is your character going to say in that moment? Not every game is going to look the same and you have to be able to respond appropriately and so I was proud of our character response today.”