Stangs clawed by Falcons

LMC struggles to keep up in key game


Cathie Lawrence

Los Medanos College’s Sydney Torrano battles for the ball with a Solano College player.

Jonathan Little

With a bit of momentum after their recent shut out of Lassen College, the Los Medanos College Mustangs women’s soccer team had a 1-3-1 record and high hopes going into the first game of the regular season Sept. 22 against Solano College at home.

But despite their opponent’s pre-season record of 0-5 the Bulldogs were still ranked in the Top 10 in Northern California and proved too much for the Mustangs to handle. The game ended in a heartbreaking 6-1 loss. But the Mustangs bounced back on the road against Mendocino with a 1-0 win Sept. 26.

Solano College had the ball first in the Sept. 22 matchup and the game began as a back-and-forth chess match. LMC countered any type of pressure Solano put on their defense, while the Falcons did the same by stopping any type of offense LMC had to offer.

First Captain Vanessa Kualapai and Second Captain Autumn Kish returned to the line-up from injury, adding more interest to the match and driving the momentum the team felt after beating Lassen 3-0.

So at the outset, it seemed as if the contest was going to go down to the wire. But in the 20th minute of the game Solano midfielder Kailyn Herrera scored to put the Falcons on top 1-0. And it didn’t stop there for the Falcons — Herrera scored two more times in a matter of 10 minutes to put the Mustangs in an early 3-0 deficit.

The Stangs seemed bewildered at the fast-paced offense of Solano College, and the offensive surge of the Falcons wore down the LMC defense for the rest of the first half.

After the game Kish admitted that Herrera “had a strong leg, and I think she saw our weaknesses and ran with it.”

The Stangs had the ball to begin the second half of the game. However, it was more of the same as Solano came back with a fast-paced defense, which translated to an even faster offense. And only one minute into the second half, Herrera struck again with her fourth goal to put the Falcons on top 4-0.

The Mustangs had trouble generating any type of momentum, whether it was on offense or defense. Physically the Stangs seemed tired on both sides of the ball as a result of the continuous fast-paced play of Solano. And in the 55th minute of the game the Falcons scored once again on a goal by midfielder Maria Luna.

At this point in the game, Solano was wining 5-0 and looking to run down the LMC defense even more to keep the momentum going in their favor. However, in the 67th minute of the game LMC showed a little light when Sydney Torrano set up Carmen Diaz with a smooth goal to bring the score to 5-1 with the game coming to a close.

But, the Solano Falcons went right back on the attack when midfielder Kaci Trujillo scored the final goal of the game leading to Los Medanos College’s 6-1 loss.

“We’re struggling with how to play as a team. Connecting passes and having that chemistry on the field is something we’re still working on,” admitted Kualapai after the frustrating loss.

Kish added that the team needs to work on fitness.

“They had 14 players and we had 20 and they were not tired, and we were getting tired throughout the game, ” she said.

While losses like this are never fun for any team in any type of sport, Kualapai said the key to improving is preparation.

“This game isn’t one to just shake off and forget about. But then again the team can’t dwell on the game either,” she said. “We need to recognize our mistakes and push ourselves in practice in order to improve.”

With that being said, LMC traveled to Mendocino College to face the Eagles Sept. 26 and were able to get a bounce-back win 1-0. They will continue to be put to the test on the road again as the face the College of Marin Friday Sept. 29 at 2 p.m.

The next home game for the Mustangs is Tuesday, Oct. 3 at 4 p.m. against Napa Valley College. For more information on the LMC Women’s soccer team visit