Women’s Soccer Team Refuses to Lose: Advances to the First Round of CCAA Tournament

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Women’s Soccer Team Refuses to Lose: Advances to the First Round of CCAA Tournament

Nicollette Elliott (27) runs and defends the ball.

Nicollette Elliott (27) runs and defends the ball.

Photo courtesy of Christine Jacobsen/San Francisco State Athletics

Nicollette Elliott (27) runs and defends the ball.

Photo courtesy of Christine Jacobsen/San Francisco State Athletics

Photo courtesy of Christine Jacobsen/San Francisco State Athletics

Nicollette Elliott (27) runs and defends the ball.

Denae Ayala, Staff Reporter

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The Golden Eagles took care of business up north, defeating San Francisco State on Thursday and Humboldt State on Saturday. 

Winning both games was just one part of keeping their season alive. In order to clinch the No. 6 seed of the conference tournament, Stanislaus State had to beat Cal State East Bay while Sonoma State had to beat Cal State San Bernardino. That’s exactly what happened.

Only six teams make the conference tournament and Cal State LA edged into the sixth spot. Cal State LA has won two conference titles in the program’s history.

In the first game against the Gators, the Golden Eagles scored a season-high five goals. 

Head Coach Erik Garcia felt being on the road can be rough and tiring, but he explained how the environment was great in both games. “Our defense and goalkeeper did very well, we executed the way we wanted to.” 

Midfielder, Danya Gutierrez scored her first goal of the season in the 22nd minute. 

Moments later, forward Kimberly Mendez passed the ball to forward Natalie Reynoso, who nailed a shot inside the far post, scoring her second goal of the season.

Midfielder, Paulina Chaidez scored her third goal of the season from inside the near post after she received a solid pass from her teammate Anahie Duran. 

In the first half, the Golden Eagles had a 9-3 edge in shots. They also had one save, one corner kick and two fouls. 

In the second half of the game it was Reynoso’s turn to set up her teammate for a goal, leaving Gutierrez head to head with the goalie and she scored her second goal of the season. 

Seconds later, Reynoso got a rebound off of saved shot, and drilled the ball into the net, securing their 5-0 win. 

In the second half goalkeeper, Amanda Leal allowed no goals with five saves. The Gators had a 3-1 edge in corner kicks. 

Forward, Leslie Ramirez had four shots in the game and felt her team was hyped at the start of the road games. “Since we left we were all on the same page, we made sure to really try our best and give it all we had.”

The Golden Eagles gave it their all in the last conference game of the season against Humboldt State.  

It was a scoreless first half for Cal State LA, but they continued to push and in the 54th minute, defender Valerie Mares headed the ball into the net. That was Mares’ first goal of the season. The goal came off an assist by Chaidez. 

Leal recorded five saves for the Golden Eagles. They had eight shots on goals, with five corner kicks. 

Coach Garcia knows his team will be hungry for more wins. “I expect them to come with a lot of energy and effort. They fought so hard to get into this position. We had our little moments where we were losing on the road, but we are better than that and now we have this new opportunity.” 

The Golden Eagles will play against No. 3 seeded Cal Poly Pomona in the first round of the CCAA tournament.  

“We just have to keep our eye on the prize. Everything else doesn’t matter. Now it’s all about [a] ‘you lose, you go home’ type of mentality. We want to make this season stretch and it’s going to take being clocked in all 90 minutes,” said Ramirez.

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