By Jorge Belon, Editor in Chief
Under the bright lights of Monarch Stadium, Valley College won their fourth game of the season, eclipsing the 2009 mark for best start in team history.
The Lady Monarchs’ are 4-1 after the first five games (the previous record was 2-2-1) though there were other notable achievements in Valleys 2-0 victory over Oxnard College. Sophomore goalkeeper Athena Del Rosario is now one shut out away from tying the school record of five in season, which she set last year. Freshmen forward Adriana Calderon’s winning goal was her seventh in just five games, placing her only eight from Michelle Escamilla’s 15 goal season record she set in 2005.
And there are still 16 games left in the season.
“I felt relief when the game was over,” Del Rosario said after the 2-0 victory. “We started slow, but I feel like we do that a lot and it takes us a while to get our stuff together. But late in the first half and for almost the entire second half we were in control.”
The Condors were no pushover, making the Lady Monarchs’ offense and midfield disappear for nearly the entire first 45 minutes, with the simple game plan of keeping the ball away from the ladies in green. Valley’s veteran keeper made four of her eight saves in the first half.
It took a perfectly placed shot from Calderon at the final minute of the first half to break the deadlock, and give Valley a 1-0 lead going into halftime.
“All I can remember was M & M [Miriam Ramirez] seeing me run into the box; she gave me a perfect pass,” Calderon said. “I just took a one time shot when the ball got to me. I honestly thought the ball was going to go just wide of the post, but when I saw it go in, I just said ‘yeah!’.”
In the second half, the ladies in green continued with their momentum as they pushed Oxnard defense to the brink of collapse multiple times. The green shirts took six of their nine shots in the second half, which pressured Condors goalie Andrea Bautista to make four saves to keep the game close.
Despite Bautista’s efforts, the Lady Monarchs would seal the victory at the 74th minute of the match, with a 19-yard bomb from midfielder Ramirez. Recovering the ball near midfield, she shrugged off one defender and sent the ball into the upper-right-hand corner of the net to give Valley the 2-0 victory.
“This was a gritty performance from them,” Valley Coach Greg Venger said. “We were missing players, with Sarah [Flores] being injured and with Regan [Laser] serving a one game suspension, we had to really dig deep for this match.”
Valley College will be looking to keep their glowing start going next Tuesday at Monarch Stadium against El Camino College at 2 p.m.