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Women’s college soccer: Cougars turn to familiar face

COC’s leading scorer notches game winner

Posted: November 18, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: November 18, 2012 2:00 a.m.

With the momentum quickly shifting, College of the Canyons turned to the girl who has been coming through all season long.

Brittany Sayre returned from the bench to notch the match-winning goal from 15-yards out to push the Cougars past East Los Angeles College, 3-2, in the first round of the California Community College Athletic Association Women’s Soccer Southern Regional Playoffs.

The goal came just over 10 minutes after Sayre re-entered the game.

“With her, she’s so athletic and so strong that when we have her on the field she really does make a difference up top,” said COC head coach Justin Lundin. “And I never really felt worried we weren’t going to win the game. We had a rough fifteen, twenty minute stretch, but besides that we were pretty dominate. Once we got her back on the field I knew it was just a matter of time.”

Things were going as expected early, with No. 2-seeded College of the Canyons jumping out to a 2-0 lead over the Huskies, who had to win a play-in game over Long Beach City just to get to this point.

Casey Wesley got things going with an unassisted goal in the 26th minute, and Brianna Helton followed up with an insurance goal in the 44th minute, also unassisted.

But things changed in a hurry.

The Huskies scored two goals in a three minute span just over 10 minutes into the second half past Cougars’ goalkeeper Katherine Koury.

Koury made two saves on the day.

East L.A.’s Vanessa Lizarraga pulled her team within one in the 57th minute and Sonia Gramajo tied the score, 2-2, off an assist by in the 60th minute.

“The big thing was we lost the center of the field and we kind of have the tendency to do this,” Lundin said. “This is the third time we’ve gone up 2-0 and given up our lead. We have a tendency to get a little complacent when the game seems like it’s in hand and the midfield relaxes and when they relax we get into trouble.”

The Cougars put the pressure early on with Saugus High graduate Stacey Atwater putting a shot on goal in the second minute that was saved by Anaissa Gonzalez.

Gonzales would make two saves on the day.

Now, the Cougars will continue on in the regional playoffs with a game against No. 7-seeded Ventura on Tuesday at College of the Canyons. “We play best when we play against very good teams and when we play against teams that aren’t as good, sometimes, we get in our own way,” Lundin said. “The teams left in the playoffs are all going to be very, very good teams. I don’t see that being an issue. We’re going to have to stay focused.”




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