Women’s Soccer: The Lady Monarchs missing final part to beat higher ranked teams is well known and needs to be fixed as soon as possible.
By Jorge Belon, Editor in Chief
Valley College is enjoying their best season in the programs history with a 5-5-1 conference record and 10-7-2 overall as of now. However, with the playoffs just out of their reach, the ladies of Valley still need a few more pieces to solve the enigma of making the playoffs for the first time in the programs history.
The first obstacle they must overcome is learning how to close out games against top ranked teams. Multiple times this season the Lady Monarchs fell just short of beating or at least pulling out a draw, but at the dying moments they would lose major power points. And a hard fought 90 minute match would go to waste, as they would have nothing to show for it.
What happens in these close matches? It is simple; usually around the 65th to 70th minute Valley’s midfield disappears, along with the offense. For the rest of the game the defense and sophomore goalkeeper Athena Del Rosario are left defending the Alamo till the referee blows the whistle.
The other team in the final 25 minutes doubles their shot rate by at least four to five more, and if Valley is lucky they take two dangerous shots. Leaving the other team all the time and space to create a winning goal, there for it is no surprise that the Lady Monarchs finished with an 0-7-1 record against College’s ranked 20 and higher in California South Region, while giving up 19 goals and only scoring six for themselves.
Now switch that to teams who are ranked 24 and lower, Valley has an impressive record of 10-0-1 and getting 34 goals and only giving up two in the process.
Del Rosario in victories only makes five to seven saves, compare to the higher ranked teams she is forced to make at least eight saves. In the one positive result against the top colleges, where Valley tied Santa Monica College 2-2 on the road, she was forced to make 15 saves to just keep Santa Monica from getting the three points.
What is the reason for this big difference between opponents, it is not the forwards, the defender but the midfielders. The Lady Monarchs are rich with number six midfielders, a player that is going to win back the ball and begin the attack by giving it to the number 10 on the field.
The number 10 is the player that connects passes from the midfield to the forwards, or the ability to create their own shot and score. The number 10 is also able to hold on to the ball and create opportunities when there is none to be seen by the normal player on the field. Good teams have this creative player guiding their offense, as a great puppeteer pulling the strings, and that is the player Valley lacks.
The Monarchs do have a player that could potentially be that missing link, freshmen forward Shayna Lewis. She so far has seven assists and has scored four times this season. Though it is consistency that prevents her from being the full-time conductor of Valley, against the top ranked colleges she was overwhelmed by only scoring one goal and failing to get a single assist. But against the other teams, she was the engine that ran Valley’s offense smoothly and effective by getting three goals and all of her assists.
If Lewis can find a way to transition her game to the next level, then the Monarchs will have a huge problem solved and they should be able to win in their final two games of the season at home.
The Lady Monarchs will host Glendale Community College on Tuesday at 1 p.m. at Monarch Stadium.