Soccer exceeds expectations

Reagan Lee | Banner | California Baptist University’s women’s soccer team celebrates scoring their first goal of the game against New Mexico State University on Oct. 5. The Lancers would go on to pick up a 3-0 conference victory over the Aggies

With a 4-4 record in conference games, California Baptist University’s women’s soccer team prepares to face new challenges as it continues in the Western Athletic Conference.

Kristen St. Clair, head coach of women’s soccer, said she believes the successful season is a tribute to the whole team’s work ethic.

“It’s a tribute to the players’ hard work. We knew there were going to be new challenges; we were excited about that. (We) prepared for that last year. It’s a credit to the players’ focus, exe- cution and hard work,” St. Clair said of the competition.

Although the team lost its first conference game against Seattle University, they man- aged to grab a three-game win streak before dropping a narrow 1-0 match against the University of Missouri—Kansas City.

Ari Coronado, freshman kinesiology major and forward, said UMKS was the toughest opponent the women’s team has played thus far.

“Overall, we did really well (in the Kansas City game). I was really proud of our performance,” Coronado said. “Finishing our goals is what killed us in that game; we had a lot of opportunities so the fact that we were able to create chances, and as a team really gave us the confidence we needed.”

St. Clair said the Lancers’ upcoming string of matches will require them to be in top shape.

“These next few games coming toward the end of this month to close up the season are going to be some of the toughest teams in the confer- ence, but we’re really proud of our players and how they posi- tion themselves to compete for the (WAC) title,” St. Clair said.

The team was able to get back to winning by defeating Utah Valley University by a score of 1-0, the lone goal was scored by Coronado.

“It took me a while to notice that I really did score,” Corona- do said. “When (the ball) finally went in, all I could do is turn around and celebrate with my team.”

Coronado said winning the Utah Valley game was import- ant for the team to be able to get back at the top of the coneference standings.

The team said being top-5 in the conference standings is a great feat, as this is their first year in Division I.

“Winning that many games is huge for us because obviously we’re the underdogs coming into this league. It’s our first year ever playing in the league so our standards were set really low because we’re newcomers,” Coronado said.

Desarae Felix, senior history major and midfielder, said she believes the successful season is a result of the extra preparations from the team and coaches.

“Everyone was aware of the transition (to DI) and every- one from the coaches down to the players has a certain mentality of preparing ourselves the best (we) possibly could,” Felix said. “Even if that meant more running, longer practices, and going out to the field by ourselves for extra touches.”

The team is currently in fourth place in the WAC team standings and will face University of Montana Oct. 26 at on the Lancer soccer field.

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