Coming into Saturday, the USCB women’s club soccer team had played nine games and had won them all. On Saturday, they traveled to CSU Northridge, hoping to keep their winning streak going through ten games. After 90 minutes of intense soccer, the dust settled and the Gauchos were still unbeaten after demolishing the Matadors 9-0.
The Gauchos came out hard and got the scoring started quickly, their first goal coming from junior forward Alyssa Doniak in the 4th minute.
“The girls came out passionate and didn’t allow Northridge a chance to settle down,” Head Coach Todd Heil said.
After their first goal, the Gauchos kept the pressure on and never gave CSUN a chance to breathe. Their next two goals came from sophomore forward Tannia Hernandez, the first coming in the sixth minute and the second coming in the 12th minute. Sophomore forward Allie Browne was next to score for the Gauchos, hitting her shot in the 17th minute. Next up was sophomore midfielder Christina Beck, and following her was Doniak, who scored her second goal in the 27th minute. Junior midfielder Christy Riva scored the final goal of the first half in the 33rd minute.
Despite entering the second half up 7-0, the Gauchos did not take the pressure off of the Matadors. Junior forward Marissa Haskin started the second half off quickly, scoring her first goal in the 47th minute, just two minutes into the half. Haskin then ended the scoring, netting the game’s final goal in the 57th minute.
During the week leading up to Saturday’s game, Heil and his team practiced indoors to work on their fitness and ball skills. While he was able to see how their ball skills had benefited from the practice, the fitness aspect was less apparent due to the nature of the game.
“We moved the ball very well today and that showed technically very well, but when you beat a team by that margin it’s hard to tell about your fitness sometimes,” Heil said.
Heil was very impressed with the teamwork his players displayed during the entire game, even once they were up 7-0 at the half.
“I thought they did really well,” Heil said. “Once you get to seven goals it gets interesting, but I thought they did very well and teamwork has really been a strong point for the girls this year.”
The team will spend this week preparing for Regionals, which are being hosted by CSU Long Beach and start on Friday night. Heil knows exactly what his team needs to work on to be ready for the tournament.
“[Fitness and ball control] are definitely things we need to work on, as well as our focus and our free kicks,” Heil said.
The Gauchos are the number one seed in the tournament, a ranking that is well deserved. Coming into the tournament having dominated their opponents all year, it would be easy for the Gauchos to feel a bit overconfident and consequently let their comfort push them into a “trap” game. Heil is aware of this danger and will not let the possibility become a reality.
“I have reminded them every chance that I get that last year at Regionals we had to come back to tie the #12 seeded Stanford in our opening game,” Heil said. ”Losing that ‘trap game’ almost happened to us last year. And the girls haven’t forgotten about it. I won’t let them.”