Golden Eagles Takedown Wildcats in Nailbiter


Photo courtesy of Robert Huskey/Cal State LA Athletics Department

Cal State LA women’s soccer team defeats Chico State 1-0.

Denae Ayala, Staff Reporter

The Cal State LA women’s soccer team defended its home field, but got a tough battle from Chico State, eventually defeating the cats 1-0. 

The game started off with a near goal from Chico, however, Cal State LA goalkeeper Amanda Leal made a spectacular save, diving and stopping the ball with her feet.  

The black and gold had a 14-10 advantage in shots, but Chico State’s goalkeeper Victoria Graham also did an excellent job, finishing with five saves. 

Freshman midfielder Lauren Sanchez nearly had an early goal, striking the ball from outside the box to audible cheers from the crowd. Graham made a diving save, stopping the ball from finding the top corner.  

Throughout the game, head coach Erik Garcia repeatedly told his players to “relax.” Garcia, felt his team was overeager because of some rushed passing and mistakes “they usually [wouldn’t] make.”  

Sanchez scored the only goal off a high cross from midfield partner Irma Pinzon. Pinzon traveled into the box, where she crossed it to the middle, leading to a header from Sanchez that found the net after striking the lower left side of the post. 

“I knew Irma was going to cross it. She always finishes her crosses,” said Sanchez. “I kind of just headed it, [I] put my head down and hoped for the best.”

Pinzon gave her perspective on the lone scoring play of the match. “Once I get right to the edge of the line, I just cross it. I didn’t know who exactly was at the box, but I knew my teammates were going to be there.” 

In the last moments of the match, Chico State showed its persistence. With six minutes remaining, Chico’s Sarah Emigh split between two defenders after receiving a long pass from forward Jordan Doukakis

Cal State LA defender, Nicolette Elliot, then fouled Doukakis outside the box. The Wildcats nearly got the equalizer, but Chico’s forward Chloe King put too much power behind the free kick and it flew over the goal. 

The Golden Eagles will play on Oct. 9 against rival Cal State Dominguez Hills in Carson. 

Coach Garcia stated, “The way I see it, I see it as a very talented team: Dominguez Hills. I see them as a tough opponent and we are going to give them a lot of respect and prepare for them properly.”