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Women’s soccer loses a close contest at home

Updated: Dec 7, 2023

The Antelope Valley Marauders squeaked by the Valley College Monarchs Friday in a tight defensive battle.

Jabes Pascual and Luis Gonzalez, Special to the Star

Monarchs sophomore defender Ruby Dunmore, center, clears the ball during the second half of a home game at Valley against the Antelope Valley Marauders on Friday (Luis Gonzalez | Valley Star)

The Valley College’s women’s soccer team dropped a home game to Antelope Valley College 1-0 in a tightly fought contest over the weekend.

The Monarchs and the Marauders spent the first 10 minutes of the contest fighting for possession until the visiting team scored the game’s only goal. Marauder defender Aaliyah Alatorre took a corner kick from midfielder Kaylin Gonzalez around the 11th minute and placed the ball just out of reach of Monarch goalkeeper Sara Paul.

“I’m just proud of the way that we played and stuck together to the very end,” said Paul, who is the captain of the 2-7-1 team.

The Monarchs fought back with possession of the ball. Midfielders Mia Aguilar, Natalia Cruz-De la Torre, and Katherine Lopez created chances and slipped through defenders. Andrea Martin came the closest to tying the score just before the end of the half. Her free kick skimmed the crossbar but did not find the back of the net.

The Monarchs took the field in the second half but didn’t find that finishing touch. Aguilar, who had been a constant threat on the left flank, suffered a knee injury and left the contest in the 72nd minute. Midfielder Jennifer Rivera also hobbled off the field and left the game with an ankle injury.

The match was scheduled to be played at Monarch Stadium, but a last-minute tactical coaching decision led by Head Coach Melissa Fernandez switched the contest to a nearby soccer field. The game was played in the grassy soccer field giving the Monarchs a home-field advantage as the coach played a 4-3-3 formation as they were looking for their third win of the season.

Although the Monarchs dropped a close contest, assistant coach Stacey Rodwell saw a marked improvement from an earlier game against College of the Canyons where the Monarchs were on the losing end of a 9-0 score.

“The fight and determination that we didn't have on Tuesday, we found that today,” Rodwell said.

The Monarchs will face Citrus College at home Tuesday at 4 p.m. and then travel to Santa Monica College on Friday to take on the Corsairs at 4 p.m.


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