Women’s Soccer: Santa Monica College scores in stoppage time to defeat the ladies in green 4-3.
By Jorge Belon, Editor in Chief
The conference-leading Santa Monica Corsairs came to Monarch Stadium Tuesday afternoon on a six-game winning streak. And the Lady Monarchs came in within a few seconds of ending it.
Mission almost accomplished.
In the 91st minute, Corsairs forward Alyssa Ortega received a ball inside the penalty box with her back facing the goal. Despite a Monarch defender guarding her tightly, she maneuvered with the ball and spun to score the winning goal in the 4-3 contest, which dropped the ladies in green to 0-1 conference record and now a 5-3 overall.
“Second game in a row we lose like that,” said Monarchs sophomore goalkeeper Athena Del Rosario. “It is unbelievably frustrating, but Santa Monica [College] is the best team in our conference. However, they will not be so lucky next time.”
In the first half, the green shirts were struggling to slow down Santa Monica’s fast-paced offense. Despite defending for nearly 35 minutes of the first 45, Valley would score first.
The freshman forward duo of Miriam Ramirez and Adriana Calderon would break the deadlock. Calderon sent a direct pass into the box, and Ramirez let the ball bounce once and blasted the shot into the back of the net to give Valley the 1-0 lead at the 6th minute.
However, the ladies in green failed to build on their lead and Corsairs forward Jayma Martin punished them by scoring two goals right before halftime to give Santa Monica the 2-1 lead.
The tying goal came in the 25th minute, and for her second goal Martin showcased her speed by torching the defense in the 36th minute. Martin’s seventh and eighth goals of the season tied her for the conference lead.
Valley limped into the break with a narrow 2-1 deficit after Calderon, the team’s leading scorer, suffered a minor injury to her left glute before the half. But in the second half, the Lady Monarchs came out with an aggressive game plan. Right away the ladies in green began to attack with more consistency, though their first four shots failed to change the score.
It would take a spectacular long-range goal from a limping Calderon in the 58th minute to pull Valley even. She took the shot from the far left-hand corner of the PK box, and with the Santa Monica defender hot on her trail, she curled the ball into the top right-hand corner of the net to tie it 2-2.
Scoring her eighth of the season put her in a three-way tie for most goals in the Western State Conference.
“I tried ignoring the pain,” said the slightly hobbled Calderon. “I was able to cut in and barely get a step in front of her. I took the shot with my left foot and I scored. Those are the types of goals I like to score.”
Santa Monica would end the Monarchs’ momentum a few minutes later when Xiovana Ordaz took a low hard shot to the bottom left-hand corner to recapture the lead, making it 3-2 in the 61st minute.
Four minutes later, Calderon made a dash into the box, eluding one defender. But right before she could take the shot, she was taken down in the box. The referee blew her whistle and Shayna Lewis stepped up and converted the penalty to tie the match for the third time at 3-3 in the 65th minute.
Lewis’ goal gave Valley hope. They continued to pressure for the win, but the Corsairs would steal the match with Ortega’s goal in the dying moments for a 4-3 victory.
“It’s tough; we lost to Santa Barbara last week the same way,” said Head Coach Greg Venger. “I told the girls from the very start … we wanted to make a statement. Santa Monica had only given up three goals in seven games, and they gave up three today.”
Valley’s next match will be on Tuesday at 4 p.m., when they host College of the Canyons.