The women’s soccer team hosted Pomona-Pitzer on Saturday night and came out with a 4-0 loss. The Sagehens controlled the possession of the ball and the Leopards had trouble sinking their opportunities.
In a one-sided first 15 minutes, the Leopards were down 3-0. Regardless of the score the offense never let down but the ball did not seem to find the strikers’ feet.
“We didn’t come out as strong as we should have,” sophomore forward Marisella Macias said. “We were not prepared.”
Freshman midfielder Julia Borges attempted a shot from 30 yards out with 18 minutes left in the half that went wide of the goal.
With the last 10 minutes of the half closing in on the Leopards they continued to attack but to no avail.
“We weren’t focused,” freshman defender Jessica De Alba said.
The referee only blew the whistle twice for the Leopards; both were offside calls.
With seven minutes left in the first half, the Sagehens crossed the ball into the 18-yard box. La Verne attempted to clear but the ball deflected to Pomona-Pitzer freshman midfielder Amanda Coba, making the score 4-0.
A final opportunity to score in the first half, led by forward Nancy Rodriguez, fell just wide.
“It was unfortunate the shots didn’t go in with the opportunities we had,” Macias said.
The defense was plagued with mistakes and the Sagehens took full advantage by countering with goals.
In the last minute of the first half, another attempt at scoring by Pomona-Pitzer was blocked by freshman goalkeeper Delanie Pacheco.
The 10 minute halftime period provided the Leopards with an opportunity to recuperate and perhaps make a come back. Macias said the coaches were very motivational and gave them the pep talk they needed to play a better game.
“They basically told us that we weren’t playing the way we normally play and we need to prove to everyone out here that we are going to be better this year,” Macias said.
In the first five minutes of the second half, Rodriguez had a good chance to score but was blocked by a Pomona-Pitzer defender.
The Leopards made some adjustments at halftime in their defensive line in order to answer to the offenses tough game.
“It’s clear that during halftime some sort of positive reinforcement must have been given to the players because they have stepped up their game defensively,” spectator Danny Mendoza said.
The game started to get more physical as the Leopards became more frustrated; the frustration was evident by the number of fouls that were being called.
A free kick was given to Pomona-Pitzer but the Leopard goalkeeper responded with an incredible block, which ultimately led to another foul against them.
For most of the second half, opportunities to score presented themselves to both teams but none were successful.
The Leopards did not allow the Sagehens to score again fueled by fewer mistakes from a defensive standpoint.
With six minutes left in the half, Macias had a shot on goal that barely sailed over the post.
“We are focused on what we have to do from here on out,” Macias said. “We are moving forward and concentrating on the games to come.”
The Leopards continued SCIAC play Wednesday night with a 3-2 overtime loss to Occidental, but look to earn a win against Cal Lutheran at 7 p.m. Saturday at Damien High School.
Sarah Sleeger can be reached at email@example.com.