Undefeated 3-0-1 Start For Women's Soccer

Itzel Nunez heads the ball during the Lancers win v. Irvine Valley on Tuesday (photo by Richard Quinton).
Itzel Nunez heads the ball during the Lancers win v. Irvine Valley on Tuesday (photo by Richard Quinton).

The Pasadena City College women's soccer team launched 31 shots, 21 on goal in its second straight dominating effort, defeating Irvine Valley, 4-1, at Robinson Stadium on Tuesday.

Directed by head coach Terryn Soelberg, the Lancers remain undefeated at 3-0-1, outshooting their last two opponents, 57-7, and outscoring them, 8-1. 

If not for the outstanding play of Irvine Valley goalie Sydney Salamoff, who made 17 saves, PCC could have scored possibly in double digits. 

"Overall, IVC was an organized team and its goalie made some phenomenal saves," Soelberg said. "We were able to generate some great opportunities going forward in both halves."

The Lancers opened the scoring in the 22nd minute when frosh midfielder Samantha Shahin stole an errant pass at the 20 yard line and drove in a long-range shot for a 1-0 lead. 

Just seconds before the halftime whistle, defender Alyssa Avila centered a pass from the far corner of the box that letterman midfielder Bertha Guzman punched in for a 2-0 advantage. 

In the 57th minute, first-year midfielder Charlie Gallardo took a corner kick. Defender Itzel Nunez received the kick and one-touched to defender Alexa Espinoza-Gutierrez, who headed in the score. In the 89th minute, Guzman took a corner kick and this time it was sophomore forward Megan Schmidt delivering a hard kick for PCC's final goal. 

A 296-minute shutout streak by PCC goalie Natalia Portillo ended five seconds before the final whistle when Irvine Valley's Jocelyn Gutierrez lifted a side angle shot in the box over the 5-foot-10 Portillo and into the upper corner of the net. It spoiled what would have been the freshman Portillo's third straight shutout. She finished with three saves, including a fantastic save on a breakaway attempt by IVC's Andrea Goana in the 17th minute.

"I was excited for Sam who scored her first collegiate goal," Soelberg said. "Bertha also got one and she's been such a big asset for us in the middle. We also scored two goals off of corners, which we've been working on in practice, so glad to see that in this game as well."

Although she was held off the scoring sheet, frosh forward Angely Puga continued her impressive and relentless play on offense as she totaled a team-high 10 shots. 

Puga, Gallardo, transfer defender Riley Buck, and forward Michelle Navarro were all players that were robbed on sensational saves by the Lasers' Salamoff. 

Defensively, Nunez, a center back, stood out and made three strong breakups. Fellow starting defensive partners Destiny Delgado and Tatiana Grigoryan held their ground while Tati's sister Angie Grigoryan came off the bench and played well in her minutes. 

On Friday, Sept. 8, the Lancers expect to be tested by host Santa Monica College in a 3 p.m. contest. The Corsairs and Lancers have had some epic battles over the years (SMC has a 4-3-1 advantage in the all-time series) including PCC's last playoff appearance in 2012. SMC won 2-1 in overtime in a regional match played at Occidental College.