The Citrus College women’s soccer team lost against Fullerton College (2-7), falling to a 5-5 record halfway through the season.
It was an unexpected loss. Fullerton College, on a seven-game losing streak, has been battered by injuries, including their goalkeeper.
“It is a good moral victory for us,” Hornets head coach Pam Lewin said. “Our goalie is a field player. During the game, you could hear how much coaching we were giving her.”
The Owls missed some key chances for scoring opportunities during the game, including a mistimed one-on-one run in the 20th minute by Owls forward Emily Fadem.
Ultimately, several Owls cited reasons for their loss: injuries and underestimating their struggling opponent.
The Owls’ health in the middle of the season has been terrible, head coach Tim Tracey said.
“We’re missing five starters right now,” Tracey said. “But the girls who are stepping in fought hard.”
Missing from the game were Danielle Lagrave, Denise Padilla, Jaline Miranda, Yasmine Ramirez, Briana Barajas. Lagrave and Miranda are the second and third leading point-scorers on the team, respectively.
“We could have played to our level, not their level,” forward Devyn Bagwell said, who scored the lone goal for Citrus. “The players that we’re missing — most of them are starters. We have to work hard to cover their positions and play as hard as they would, and we have to adjust.”
The Owls alternate goalkeepers depending on the matchup, and goalkeeper Britni Armas suffered both miscues and a fluke goal by the Hornets.
“I think we knew they weren’t a good team going in, so it kind of got to our heads,” Armas said.
Assistant coach Brian Dorman declined to comment after the game.
“Elite athletes never play at 100 percent,” coach Tracey said to forward Jacqueline Mejia after the game, who had both knees and ankles wrapped in ice.
With conference play set to begin in less than two weeks, the Owls will look to regroup and take advantage of a home-friendly schedule.