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Soccer team finishes its season on the right foot

Coach Fernandez looks to the future.

By Jabes Pascual, Staff Writer

Valley's women's soccer team huddles at halftime in match against Glendale College. The team finished the season on a three-game winning streak. (Jack Vermanyan | Valley Star)

The Valley College women’s soccer team ended its season on a three-game winning streak in a 5-0 win at home over Glendale College. 


The Monarchs finished their season with a 7-13-2 mark. Despite injury setbacks, Valley’s head coach Melissa Fernandez and her staff made coaching tactics to help with rotations in the starting lineup. Valley finished the season on a high note with three consecutive victories.


“I think they showed what they are capable of, certainly, individually and collectively as a team,” said Coach Fernandez after the final match of the season on Nov. 10. “I love when I can sit back and watch and not worry about coaching,” she added.


The Monarchs were on the attack only minutes into the first half as they took possession of the midfield. Sophomores Andrea Martin and Natalia Cruz-De la Torre connected passes on the right side of the field, making it hard for Glendale’s defense. Martin took a shot on goal that was deflected but found its way to the back of the net, giving Valley a 1-0 lead five minutes into the first half.


Cruz-De la Torre who plays right wing crossed a perfectly placed ball to assist striker Mia Aguilar for her first goal of the game. The goal came off Aguilar's right foot only 10 minutes into the first half, and Valley led early on with a score of 2-0.


The Monarchs kept the pressure on in the second half. Possession and key passes in the midfield freed up space that gave left-back Phoenix Becerra time to take a well-placed shot 18 yards out from goal that came off her left foot, making it impossible for Glendale’s keeper Ashley Messier to reach.  


Sophomore Ruby Dunmore, who played a huge role in Valley’s victory, assisted Becerra in the 76th minute of the match. The Monarchs took a convincing 3-0 lead over the Gauchos with only 15 minutes remaining in the second half. 


After the game, Becerra said, “Today was one of our best game performances of the season. If we had played every game like this, we would’ve done so much better.”


Valley’s offensive pace and teamwork helped Aguilar score the fourth goal of the game. She dribbled past Glendale’s defenders to score her second goal, giving the Monarchs a 4-0 lead in the 85th minute.


“I developed so much and learned more about the game,” said Aguilar after the match. “Best team I’ve been with in years… The development the team made throughout the season was just incredible,” she concluded.


Aguilar received a standing ovation from her teammates and coaches as she made her way to the bench. Aguilar ended the season with nine goals and one assist. Martin, who had been substituted out in the early stages of the second half, reentered the game in the 86th minute of the game. 


Martin quickly made an impact, scoring the fifth and final goal for Valley. She was assisted by left-back Becerra. Martin juked past her defenders and shot a rocket off her right foot that went between the goalkeeper’s hands. The goal came in the 87th minute of gameplay. Martin had an outstanding season at Valley, scoring nine goals and assisting for eight.


Valley keeper Sara Paul ended the match with a clean sheet, completing her third consecutive shutout to end the season and showcasing her skill and consistency in front of the frame. 


Looking ahead into the upcoming Fall and the returning players, Coach Fernandez shares: “We are going to build from them absolutely. They know what’s expected from them going into next season.”


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