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TMC women's soccer: The Master’s one-goal blues

TMC’s last five losses have been by a single score

Posted: October 27, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: October 27, 2011 1:55 a.m.

The Master’s College forward Shea Richards (7) battles for the ball with Biola defender Natalie Oliver near the goal at Reese Field on Wednesday. The Mustangs lost the game 2-1.

Since the start of conference play, The Master’s College women’s soccer team has endured a lot of close losses.

That made Wednesday’s loss at home in overtime even more painful, especially given the somewhat wacky play that ended it, sending TMC to a 2-1 loss to Biola University at Reese Field.

The game-winning goal was set up by Biola’s free kick opportunity after Mustangs sophomore Jasmine Benson was called for a yellow card.

“That’s (women’s) soccer,” said TMC head coach Curtis Lewis. “Those broken plays are usually what ends it in overtime. Credit them. They were able to put it in.”

On the play, Biola’s Victoria Dalla Zanna lined up for a free kick from near midfield on the left sideline.

Shortly after, she delivered the ball toward TMC goalkeeper Ilyssa Espiritu, who couldn’t secure the ball just in front of the net.

Jessica Austin took advantage for the Eagles (9-6, 6-2 Golden State Athletic Conference) and tipped the ball over Espiritu’s head to win the game at the 8:03 mark of the second 10-minute overtime period.

The goal ended a chance for TMC (9-8, 3-5) to get back to .500 in conference play, and it also marked the team’s fifth straight loss by a single goal.

“These kinds of opportunities are good for our girls,” Lewis said. “They’re tough, but they’re good learning experiences.”
Before the Eagles’ goal, the Mustangs had been dominating the scoring chances in both overtimes and throughout the second half.

Chrissy King knocked in Biola’s first goal late in the first half, forcing TMC to take bigger chances on offense as the game progressed.

“They send a lot of numbers forward and try to overwhelm you with their attack,” said Biola head coach Todd Elkins.

All the opportunities eventually resulted in the equalizer from Bobbie Roberts with just under five minutes to play in regulation.

She took control of the ball at the top of the 18-yard box after teammate Natasha Coyle sent a cross toward the middle.
Roberts sent the wide-open shot into the back of the net and tied it at 1-1.

“I was like, ‘I’m tired, so I’m just going to see where it goes,’” Roberts said of the goal.

The Mustangs didn’t turn down the aggressiveness after the game was tied either.

On several occasions, TMC had the ball with apparent looks at the net, but Eagles defenders routinely intercepted passes and promising opportunities.

In the end, it was a TMC mistake that set up the losing score.

“We like to say, ‘Be quick, but don’t hurry,’” Lewis said. “I felt like there was a little hurriedness (at the end) and we were trying to force things a little.”


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