Women's Soccer

Women's soccer team earns hard-fought tie with Saddleback

Courtesy of On My Game Photography
Courtesy of On My Game Photography

Irvine Valley's women's soccer team put together another strong effort and came away with its second positive result in a row, tying district-rival Saddleback, 2-2, in an Orange Empire Conference match at home Friday.

The Lasers were out-shot in the contest and needed their defense hold on down the stretch, but the Lasers still earned the draw, which moved their record to 4-7-3 overall and 1-4-1 in conference.

Saddleback's record went to 5-3-4 overall and 2-1-3 in conference.

The Lasers had a chance nearly right after the whistle to open the game when sophomore midfielder Marissa Banos got in behind the defense and had a one-on-one with the goalie. But he shot was off the mark.

Saddleback answered right back and scored a minute later. A ball was played up the right side to Maliyah Medley. She beat two defenders and then IVC's keeper to put Saddleback ahead, 1-0.

And the Gauchos took a 2-0 lead in the 13th minute when Mia Wood stole the ball, took on a defender and then scored.

Irvine Valley had its own chances in the opening half. Freshman defender Sachi Singh hit the crossbar in the 24th minute and then freshman forward Betsabet Corrales had her long shot rattle off the crossbar in the 29th minute.

Saddleback almost made it a 3-0 game, but IVC sophomore keeper Heather Miller was able to make a save in the 34th minute after Medley got in behind the Laser defense.

Miller made another save off a rebound attempt by Ashley Tiffin a few minutes later.

Irvine Valley hit the post again with a shot by Banos in the 40th minute.

The Lasers were able to get on the board and make it a one-goal match in the 45th minute when sophomore defender Natalie Tucker was able to knock home another shot that bounced off the post by Banos.

Irvine Valley trailed, 2-1, at the end of the half.

And after four straight attempts by Saddleback, including one that Miller made a diving save to stop to start the second half, IVC got level in the match.

Freshman defender Amanda Kutcher sent a long free kick into the box and sophomore forward Cierra Savin ran onto it and headed the ball in past Saddleback goalie Taylor Gayer to knot the score at 2- in the 58th minute.

Saddleback kept pushing forward after that with nine more shots the rest of the half, including seeing Abby Hazen send a shot over the top from close range in the 77th minute and having Paige Vitolo hit the crossbar on a corner kick in the 80th minute.

But the Irvine Valley defense, led by Miller, Kutcher, Tucker, Singh and freshman Sheida Suazo held on.

Miller finished with 11 saves in the contest.

Irvine Valley plays again next Tuesday at Cypress, which leads the conference standings, at 3 p.m.

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