Women's Soccer

Women's soccer team takes down Norco for first conference win

Women's soccer team takes down Norco for first conference win

It didn't look good early for the Irvine Valley women's soccer team on Tuesday at home.

The Lasers gave up two goals in the first 17 minutes of action to Norco.

But a pair of goals by sophomore forward Jade Stewart in the first half along with two second-half goals from sophomore forward Emily Rodriguez in the second half helped Irvine Valley to a 5-3 Orange Empire Conference win.

Freshman midfielder Giselle Garcia also scored for Irvine Valley in what was the team's first conference victory of the season.

Irvine Valley improved its record to 3-4-3 overall and 1-3-2 in conference, while Norco's record slipped to 1-6-1 overall and 0-6-0 in conference.

The Lasers out-shot the Mustangs, 23-8, in the contest and had two early, good chances from freshman forward Cierra Savin and Rodriguez. But Norco goalie Kassandra De La Cruz saved Savin's attempt and then Rodriguez shot wide of the goal.

Norco took a 1-0 lead in the eight minute when Angelina Tellez got behind the defense and beat IVC freshman keeper Bryana Esparza with a shot.

And it was 2-0 in the 17th minute for Norco when Tellez scored again off a through ball from Serina Arevalo.

Savin and Rodriguez each nearly got IVC on the board, but De La Cruz was up for the challenge in net.

Irvine Valley finally got back into the game when Stewart knocked in a left-footed shot off a pass from Savin in the 30th minute.

And the Lasers didn't waste any time getting back on the board again. Eight minutes later, Garcia curved a high, left-footed shot around the near post and in off a feed from Rodriguez.

The goal tied the score at 2-2.

And Irvine Valley took a 3-2 lead heading into halftime after Stewart scored her second goal of the game. Rodriguez took a shot that that De La Cruz was able to get a hand on. Stewart was in the right place on the far post to tape the ball home in the 41st minute.

Irvine Valley tried to put the contest away early in the second half. Rodriguez, Stewart, freshman midfielder Maria Salgado, freshman midfielder Nancy Hernandez and Rodriguez again each took shots. De La Cruz saved three of them.

And then Norco tied it up, 3-3, on a counter. Tellez took a shot that hit the post and Angie Vega was able there for the rebound in the 58th minute.

Irvine Valley controlled play the rest of the way, but the Lasers didn't take the lead for good until the 82nd minute. Rodriguez hit a shot from a tough angle that went into the upper right corner of the net for the game-winner.

Rodriguez sealed the win in the 87th minute when she took a dribble and then drilled a left-footed shot over De La Cruz's head from just outside of the box to make it 5-3.

Hernandez earned assists on both of Rodriguez's late goals.

De La Cruz ended with nine saves for Norco in net, while Esparza and freshman goalie Heather Miller each had one save for Irvine Valley.

Irvine Valley plays again on Friday, hosting Saddleback in a conference match at 3 p.m.

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