Tigers defend their home turf

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By Celeste Walter

By Celeste Walter

The Riverside City College women’s soccer team once again commanded the Bobby Bonds field at Cesar Chavez Community Center.

The Sept. 19 game against Saddleback ended in a 5-1 win for RCC.

Saddleback had a promising start, bringing the ball in to score the first goal of the game.

RCC responded immediately with a tying goal delivered by forward Alyssa Popov.

All this happened within the first 15 minutes of the game.

Popov out-maneuvered Saddleback players attempting to deliver a second goal that ended in a spill during her approach.

Forward Gabrielle Hernandez scored one of the goals and midfielder Nicole Cunningham scored a hat trick with three additional goals.

RCC goalkeeper Christina Beckley provided powerful blocks against the opposition’s scoring attempts through the first half and part of the second half.

“Defense needs a lot of people and we are actually just getting the rhythm of how to play it, and we are now actually excelling in that and our offense did really, really good,” Beckley said.

Coach Lynsey Jalayer said the teams’ expectations were to “get a feel for the game in the first ten minutes.”

“I think the first 10 or 15 minutes kind of set the pace,” Jalayer said. “We did have to give up a goal on the free kick but we were able to answer back a few minutes later and once that happened we got ourselves into a rhythm and took care of business; 2-1 in the first half, three goals in the second half.”

“Not bad at all, against a team that’s traditionally been very strong and tough to beat,” Jalayer said. “Not bad at all.”

Forward Megan Pereira said finishing has been a problem, “but we kept it up in that area today. Passing was good too.”

The team’s focus at the start of the game was, “to basically knock the ball around, get movement through defense up to the midfield and put through balls to the forward and I think we achieved all these goals,” forward Alana Wohlers said.

Jalayer appeared confident in her team’s performance.

Jalayer said a couple times defensively the team just “got out of shape but not anything that we can’t fix, maybe just finishing a few more of our opportunities we could work on that.”

The similar opinions put forth by some of the team members served as further evidence of how well-connected the team is.

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