Coming off a surprising season a year ago and reaching nationals for the first time in school history, many could have expected a hangover. However, this years women’s soccer team have proved otherwise so far in this season’s infancy.
After losing goal keeper Jill Foss, the only real question of the returning team was who would be able to fill those shoes. Newcomers freshman Chelsea Lesniak, junior Lily James, and freshman Vania Tovar have stepped in and added to an already loaded team, returning nine starters including seniors Danielle Dintino and Karri Currier, and senior captain Ivana Mendez.
“Our team has more experience and more depth than last year. Jill [Foss] is a big loss but we have three keepers who are working hard. We have eight seniors leading this team. It is a strong class who knows how to direct our team towards our goal,” Mendez said.
The team traveled to Chicago for a three game bill that was very crucial after two disappointing games prior, ending in a tie and loss respectively. The Lions responded loudly, with three victories and a goal margin of 13-2.
In the final two tune-up contests before conference play began, the Lions rattled off consecutive 5-0 victories. The team felt confident and ready to take on the number one team in the nation, Azusa Pacific, to begin GSAC competition.
“I still think we’re not unified enough to play like we’re champions,” Currier said. “We’re suffering big injuries and it’s up to every girl on our team to step up, excel, and lead on the field.”
Last Saturday, the team traveled up to Azusa Pacific to play the number one ranked team in the nation. Despite the blistering heat, the Lions went in to double overtime before resulting in a 1-1 tie.
“We knew going into the game it was going to be a battle and one of our toughest games of the year. We all just believed we could do it and played with heart and never gave up,” Dintino said.
The Lions feature many offensive weapons. As a team, the Lions have 29 goals on 179 shots, while holding their opponents to only four goals on 30 attempts. Mendez has accumulated six goals and five assists while Dintino and Sophomore Amanda Couch have added six and five goals respectively.
The Lions boast a 6-1-2 record which is on pace toward a second national berth for the team, comparable to last year as they were 8-1 at this point. Come support the team as they take on San Diego Christian tomorrow at 4 p.m.