Pacific Union on a three-game winning streak after a long slip
The Pacific Union College women’s soccer team snapped a seven-game losing streak with a 1-0 thriller over visiting University Park in Gilbert, Ariz., on September 22 and wins over California Pacific Conference did not stop there.
The Pioneers (4-7, 3-2 Cal Pac) followed with an 8-0 rout of visiting rival Cal Maritime de Vallejo on September 25 before earning their first road win, 2-0 over Soka University of America at Aliso Viejo. last Sunday.
Pacific Union (4-7, 3-2 Cal Pac) will look to extend its three-game winning streak when it hosts Irvine’s Westcliff at 3:30 p.m. Thursday to begin a three-game home streak. The Pioneers are currently tied for third place with Westcliff and UC Merced. They will also host seventh-place finisher St. Katherine of San Marcos at 2:30 p.m. on Oct. 13 and Providence Christian — who is tied for last place with Cal Maritime — at 7 p.m. on Oct. 15 at St. Helena High School Bob Patterson Memorial Stadium. .
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Against Park, Olivia Jessee, the PUC second-year player – who also played for Napa Valley 1839 FC in their inaugural season last summer – needed just 13 minutes to score what would be the only goal of the game. Junior goaltender Jayleen Casillas, who made 5 saves, and the backline held her up.
“My whole back line played well,” Casillas said. “We were at nine, 10 players and we just wouldn’t give up. They had my back with every punch that was on me — (senior) Leslie Tamayo, (sophomore) Bella Huerta, (freshman) Kaylin MinceyNeal, everyone up top. They made sure they covered when they needed it. They were just working hard. It was great.”
In the 8-0 win over Cal Maritime, central rookie Verenia Gonzalez scored in the eighth and 15th minutes and capped her hat-trick three minutes after Jazmyn Bravo’s goal, making it 4-0 at the intermission.
Bravo scored his own hat trick with goals in the 47th and 67th minutes, sandwiched around one by first-year centre-back Oluwabukunmi Babatunde in the 60th. Second-year left-back Caitlin Raymond capped the scoring in the 81st minute.
In Orange County on Sunday, it was first-year central midfielder Bella Cervantes who put PUC on the board in the 13th minute on a Babatunde assist, slotting the ball deep into the bottom corner of the net . But the Pioneers didn’t get their insurance goal until the 74th minute, when Raymond fired a long shot into the top left corner of the net.
After the win that started the streak, PUC head coach Shane Shelton was happy to see an end to the long skid.
“I’m so proud of the girls. The pre-season was difficult for us,” he said. “We have been decimated by injuries. We had a substitute in every game, and the (hot) weather here was difficult. These girls were really hurting in a lot of ways with these things, and it’s a whole new band.
The Pioneers lost two players to red cards in that game, Jessee two minutes before half-time. Cervantes was sent off in the 55th minute.
“We’re starting eight new players this year and we’ve faced some tough teams in pre-season so sadly seeing them get two red cards today and suffer as a group but to continue (playing hard) makes us really happy as a coach. staff,” Shelton said.
“Our goalkeeper, Jay, was absolutely brilliant. She slowed down when she needed to and made four or five big stops. Our two centre-backs put in a fantastic effort keeping everything buttoned up and organized and winning their tackles and were very good at building up when they needed it.
“In the second half, when we lose two players and we try to keep the ball and we know their legs are tired after defending for two, three, four minutes at a time when we ask them to dribble, they I’m going to be exhausted knowing they’re probably going to lose it and have to defend again, so it was a fantastic effort.
Rounding out the PUC roster are senior Reytzel Chevez, junior Ruby Douhan, sophomores Daneca Nelsen, Judy Vallier and Catherine Tarango, and freshmen Melissa Tamayo and Ava McInvale.
Jessee was named Cal Pac Offensive Player of the Week for Women’s Soccer for August 15-28, it was announced by the league on August 29 on calpacathletics.com on August 29. The 5-foot-11 Jessee, who is of Mount Pleasant, Utah, scored all four goals for Pacific Union in a 4-1 win over Bushnell University in Eugene, Oregon on August 24.
Gonzalez, who is from Hayward, was named Cal Pac Offensive Player of the Week for Sept. 26-October 26. 2 for his hat trick against Cal Maritime.
Dave Mosher and Marty James contributed to this report.