Better Late Than Never

September 29, 2012

Box Score:

Scottsdale, AZ - The Master's College women's soccer team scored three times in the final 20 minutes, completing a dominating 3-1 win over Arizona Christian Saturday afternoon in Scottsdale.

The win was the Mustangs' fourth in a row overall (7-1-2, 2-0 GSAC) and their second straight in conference play, keeping them in a first-place tie.

It took a while for the GSAC's best offense to capitalize on a staggering shot advantage but when it did, the floodgates opened and the Firestorm were washed away.

Despite outshooting the hosts 13-2 over the opening 45 minutes, the Mustangs found themselves down 1-0 after ACU's Chelsea Ruland scored just 6:37 into play.  To say that the Mustangs had opportunities to score would be a gross understatement but Firestorm keeper Sydney Roller-Sotak was up to the challenge, notching six first-half saves while preserving the slightest of leads.

That 1-0 lead lasted through halftime and 25 minutes into the second half, further bolstering the Firestorm's hopes of an upset.  But, then the Mustangs finally found the range and with it went ACU's hopes.

It started in the 71st minute (70:01) when freshman Tara Struiksma (Ontario, CA) took a through pass from Gia Loza (Corona, CA) and beat Roller-Sotak with her third goal of the season to knot the match at one-all.

Then, less than six minutes later, the Mustangs struck again and this time the tie-breaking and game-winning tally came off the foot of the GSAC's top scorer, Shea Richards (Palmdale, CA).  The sophomore midfielder scored her conference-best 10th goal of the campaign from a steep angle on the left side, giving her team a 2-1 lead in unassisted fashion at the 75:50 mark.

The late offensive was capped off just over nine minutes later (84:52) when Richards and Struiksma teamed up for the match's final goal.  Taking a cross from Richards on the right side, Struiksma fired in her second goal of the game, giving the Mustangs some insurance and a two-goal lead.

That was more than enough for the Mustang defense and goalie Ilyssa Espiritu to protect as the club cruised the rest of the way.  The Mustangs wound up with an overwhelming 32-2 in shots, including a 19-0 showing in the second half.

The victory sets up a midseason showdown next Wednesday (October 3) when the Mustangs welcome No. 14 Concordia to Placerita Canyon.  Kick-off is set for 3:00pm on Reese Field.