Story by Oscar Jimenez Iniguez
The California State University Monterey Bay (CSUMB) women’s soccer team beat visiting California State University East Bay 2-1 on Oct. 14 in a gritty California Collegiate Athletic Association conference matchup.
In the first half, the Otters were in control, outshooting the Pioneers 6-2. Otter midfielder Catalina Villegas (#25) assisted by forward Amelia McManus (#22) scored the first and only goal of the half. Defensively, Monterey Bay prevented the Pioneers from taking a shot.
However, the Pioneers came out of the first half into the second offensively ready, as they outshot the Otters 7-4. This did not deter the Otters. Defender Linda Nigg (#17) scored on a header on an assist by midfielder Mitsy Ramirez (#30) off of a corner kick. East Bay responded shortly after with a goal, shot and scored by midfielder Kelsey Pena (#11) assisted by forward Yvette Moreno (#12).
Following the rest of the game up until the 80th minute, East Bay possessed the ball a majority of the time. In the final 10 minutes, the Otters went on a three-shot shooting spree, extinguishing any attempt for the Pioneers to score and force overtime.
In the end, Monterey Bay weathered East Bay’s attempt at a potential comeback. After the game, both Otter goalscorers reflected on their goals.
“That goal was pretty crazy, it happened all fast,” said Villegas. “Maya (#20) did a throw-in that went in between Amelia and a few other people, I just saw that the goalkeeper was off of the line so I thought I could do a little chip and it worked. I still can’t believed we scored, it’s kind of a lot.”
“It was a corner kick and it hit me in the face and went it. It was really good. It was a fun game,” said Nigg.
Monterey Bay’s head coach Laura VanWart was honest about the team’s victory, but was most importantly proud of what her players accomplished.
“They came out with a win. It was a very difficult game against a really good team and we were able to find a result. We were not our sharpest but we were really gritty, and so we were able to get it,” she said. “Catalina and Linda scored two great goals. Linda’s goal, especially off the corner kick, was spectacular. So sometimes being successful is being able to win when you don’t have your best game.”
The Otters improved to 6-5-3 overall and 3-3-1 in the California Collegiate Athletic Association, while the Pioneers fell to 2-8-3 and 0-6-1.
CSUMB fell to Stanislaus State 1-0 at Cardinale Stadium Sunday Oct. 16.
The loss means the Otters now will need some assistance to reach the CCAA Tournament as they sit three points outside the top six with three matches remaining.
They will go up against Cal State Dominguez Hills on Oct. 27. For more information on upcoming games, visit otterathletics.com.