Falisha Ramirez scores four in the women’s soccer opener.
The women’s soccer team began it’s season in a dominant fashion Sunday, winning, 7-0, behind a four goal performance by senior forward Falisha Ramirez.
The Leopards defeated the Benedictine (Ill.) Eagles in a non-conference game at Ben Hines Field.
“We were able to keep the ball up top and out of our defensive third,” head coach Wendy Zwissler said.
“And when you can do that it gives our team a much better chance of scoring.”
La Verne’s senior forward Veronica Wilhelm had a breakaway scoring opportunity that went off the top crossbar in the early minutes.
However, Wilhelm did not let her next chance go to waste, putting the ball in the back of the net within the first three minutes.
“We were able to move the ball around really well today,” senior goalkeeper Brigette Jennings said.
“And we did a good job of getting the ball to feet.”
Leading the Leopards was Ramirez who in addition to her four goals contributed two assists.
Megan Dean added a goal at the end of the first half to put the Leopards up 4-0 at the break.
Three more goals at the beginning of the second half allowed La Verne to cruise to an easy victory.
The victory did not come without drama however. Ramirez was injured in the middle of the second half and had to limp off the field.
The injury did not prove to be serious, though, as Ramirez returned to the game.
“We were able to move the ball effectively,” Ramirez said. “It’s really good to get off to a solid start.”
“I see (Ramirez) having a lot more goals,” Zwissler said.
“She had 19 goals last year so she has the expectation of scoring more than that this year. She had four today, so she is well on her way.”
The Leopards expectations are high for it’s 2009 season and are hoping that the returning players’ experience meshes well with the fresh talent they incorporated through recruitment.
“My expectations are very high this season. We are multi-talented so we don’t have to rely on either our offense or defense, and that makes us more well rounded,” Zwissler said.
“It looks like we are going to have tough competition this year but I think we are ready to step up to the challenge,” Jennings said.
“We have a few new recruits but our team is meshing really well. It’s like playing with a big family.”
Ramirez thinks that a good recruiting class along with veteran experience raises their expectations but she also attributes it to something else.
“We have been training with (conditioning coach Matt) Durant and so everybody is in super shape,” she said.
La Verne will open up Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play at 4 p.m. Wednesday against the Occidental Tigers at Ben Hines Field.
Then the University will travel to Claremont-Mudd-Scripps for a match at 11 a.m. Sept. 19.
Kevin Garrity can be reached at email@example.com.