Women's Soccer Turns Corner By Winning 3 In a Row

Juanita Diaz scores one of her four goals in Friday's SCC Tournament win over East Los Angeles (photo by Michael Watkins).
Juanita Diaz scores one of her four goals in Friday's SCC Tournament win over East Los Angeles (photo by Michael Watkins).

For much of her first season directing the Lancers, Pasadena City College women's soccer head coach Terryn Soelberg has put the onus her team to play a full 90 minutes and execute the plays they work on practice. After a rough patch of winning only once over nine contests, PCC has found its groove, winning three consecutive games including Friday's 9-0 rout over East Los Angeles.

PCC improved its overall record to 7-13 and now have won four of 10 conference games. The win over #10 seed ELAC at Robinson Stadium was a seventh place semifinal of the South Coast Conference Tournament, one that only benefits most of the teams by allowing them to play two extra contests. On Tuesday, the #7-seed Lancers host #8 Los Angeles Harbor in a 4 p.m. seventh place final game and the 2021 season finale for both teams.

Against the Huskies, who travelled with exactly 11 players, the Lancers passed the ball better than anytime all year, resulting in 43 shots directed at the opponent's goal, 25 at goalie Michelle Ortiz. Juanita Diaz collected her second hat trick of the season, scoring four goals overall. Diaz scored two in a span of a minute for a 2-0 lead by the game's 14th minute. 

Olivia Aguilar added two goals and two assists while Emelyn Meza had a goal and two helpers. Later in the second half, PCC twice executed header goals off corner kicks, one by Diaz on a CK by Angie Alvarado and the other when Aguilar got a little more of her face than her forehead on Devin Zamora's corner. Mia Bedoyan and Avery Romero also scored goals. Romero scored her first goal as now 12 different Lancers have reached the back of the net this season.

On Nov. 2 at home, the Lancers celebrated Sophomore Day and Meza connected on a goal off a nifty lead pass from Jamie Verdin in the 53rd minute for what proved to be the winning goal. It was Meza's first goal and Verdin's first point of the season. Aguilar fed Arielle Stickar for PCC's first goal and then made a skilled turnaround shot in the 84th minute for an insurance goal. Goalie Jesua Garcia made six saves playing the first half while Stevie Mancillas added five stops in the second half.

On Oct. 29, the Lancers started the win streak as Aguilar scored on a free kick with just five minutes left for a 1-0 PCC victory at LA Harbor College. 

"I feel like we are playing more with a purpose than maybe earlier in the season," Soelberg said. "The players were getting to know each other's tendencies, and in the past few games there was more efficient passing, better decisions on finding the open shooter. This is very encouraging for us to achieve some success late in the year that the freshmen can carry with them into next season."