The women's soccer team (15-3-2, 11-3-2 OEC) will open up their playoff run against San Diego Miramar (15-2-2, 6-1-1) this Saturday, November 21st in the SoCal Regionals. The #7 seed Chargers finished third in the Orange Empire Conference while #10 San Diego Miramar finished second in the Pacific Coast Conference (North).
Although the two teams boast similar records, the Chargers have handed the Jets their biggest loss of the season, shutting them out 3-0 at the Ventura College Classic earlier this season. Since then, the Jets went on to go undefeated for 16 straight games before losing their final regular season match to Mt. San Jacinto 1-0. Even though the Chargers have a reason to be confident, they should be weary of Miramar's defense which has allowed only 8 goals this entire season. Moreover, the Jets nearly matched the Chargers offensive output, scoring 54 goals this season.
Heading into this match, the Chargers boast several key players whose contributions go beyond the stat sheet. Freshman midfielder Taylor Jones scored four goals and made three assists this season, but she alongside Kristen Avila have helped the Chargers manage possession and give the offense freedom to push forward. Jones has also served as a curtain on the defensive end, winning the ball from opponents before they can even enter the offensive half of the field. Freshman Gissel Avila and sophomore Karla Lopez have combined for 21 goals this season. Avila's composure inside the box and Lopez's blistering pace and dribbling proved to be a lethal combination for the Chargers offense. In addition, Avila's ability to protect the ball and pick out the right pass has earned her 12 assists this season.
The Miramar Jets feature a couple offensive talents that will demand the Chargers attention. Freshman Katelyn Maddox shot 12 goals this season along with 6 assists while her striking partner Stephanie Martinez scored 8 goals and nabbed 5 assists. Freshman forward Annalise Siegel has proven to be a spark off the bench, scoring 6 goals and 3 assists despite starting in only one game this season.
Cypress College has had a relatively successful season, especially in October when they went 6-1-1 and outscored their opponents 32-5. However, their sole loss that month came against the second place Saddleback College and their tie was against the first place Santiago Canyon. Despite their string of lopsided victories, the Chargers seemed to have cooled down in the final two games of the season when they drew Orange Coast 0-0 and escaped Fullerton with a 1-0 victory.
The Chargers will need to reignite the spark that got them through October in order to emerge as a playoff favorite this weekend. With a wide array of talent on both sides of the field, Cypress College does have what it takes to score on any team in the playoffs and climb their way to the top, but it all depends on if they can execute their game plan.
The women's soccer team will host San Diego Miramar in a much anticipated matchup on Saturday, November 21st at 2:00 PM. Admission will be $12 for adults and $8 with student ID.