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College soccer: Not for lack of trying

Nation’s No. 6 team COC ties Santa Monica College in WSC opener

Posted: September 26, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: September 26, 2012 1:55 a.m.

College of the Canyons defender Kassandra Talamantez, right, kicks the ball against Santa Monica College during Tuesday's game at COC.

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College of the Canyons women’s soccer did just about everything to justify its national ranking on Tuesday.

Everything other than winning that is.

Despite dominating possession of the ball and holding an enormous shot advantage, COC finished with a 0-0 draw in its Western State Conference, South Division opener against Santa Monica College at COC.

“Sometimes they go in, sometimes they don’t,” said COC freshman Brittany Sayre. “All I know is we’ll keep playing hard.”

COC (6-0-2 overall, 0-0-1 WSC South) came into the game ranked sixth in the nation, according to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.

Tuesday marked the first time the Cougars have failed to score this season, but it wasn’t for lack of opportunity.

COC put 17 shots on the Corsairs (3-1-3, 0-0-1), who managed just one shot of their own.

Seven of COC’s shots were on goal.

“We picked a bad day to have a bad game,” said COC head coach Justin Lundin. “The good thing is it’s the very first game of conference. Even though we didn’t play well, 17-1 (in shots), that’s pretty dominant.”

Santa Monica spent most of the game trying to fend off the Cougars, who were consistently moving the ball around in the attacking third of the field.

Even when the Corsairs controlled the ball, it was short lived. COC often tried to send the ball to the deep right side and cross it back toward the goal and give players like Saugus graduates Stacey Atwater and Jessica Weber chances to knock it in.

Nobody had more opportunities than Sayre, who finished with a team-high eight shots.

Time after time, Santa Monica goalkeeper Cindy Godina stood up to the challenge, making seven saves to keep it scoreless.

“We tried to connect and play it to each other, and we just couldn’t put one in,” said Sayre, a Valencia graduate.

From here, the defending conference champion Cougars begin a stretch of six road matchups in their next seven games, beginning with L.A. Valley College on Friday.

“It’s a new season,” Lundin said. “What we did before this doesn’t mean anything.”

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