Michael Watkins/ Courier Camila Grases of Pasadena City College takes a shot on goal during the Lancers 16-5 win against Los Angeles Trade Tech College at home on wednesday October 4, 2017. The Confrence win is the Lancers first putting them at 1-5 fin SCC confrence play.
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Lancers took on conference opponents LA Trade Tech (LATT) on Wednesday, Oct. 4th, leading the game from the get-go to continue their stunning spread from the previous week of over 10 points with a final score of 16-5.

“Today we had really good team chemistry, so there were several people who got a chance to score multiple goals. I found that their passing was good … that was something I saw we could improve from Monday’s game,” Stoddard said..

Top scorer of the game was freshman center forward Yesenia Marin with four goals followed by fellow freshman Jennifer Ortega’s three according to PCC Lancer athletic website.

“In the beginning [of the season] our dynamic wasn’t there but after the first game we definitely had it. We all came from different high schools, different levels and backgrounds but after that first game we were all working together,” Marin said.

According to Stoddard, they ran a completely different defense last year. This year they are  running a press defense that although opens them up to more shots from the opponent, gives them a chance to focus more on passing.

“Some of it has to do with just the players, this [year’s] group of players are more apt a pressing defense,” Stoddard said.

The Lancers demonstrated that “pressing defense” with their aggressive blocking against LATT’s shots and stealing throughout the quarters. Specifically from Sasha Gamboa in the first, who managed to keep the ball away from them.

“We try to force errors. If we’re pressing them, we can force them to make an error either with a pass or dribbling the ball. So stealing the ball, ultimately is the result of a hard press,” Stoddard said.

The pressure led to many scoring attempts, 35 in total according to PCC Lancer, throughout the match. Marie Lee and others forced multiple turnovers that led to successful assists for PCC.

Between halves, Stoddard pulled aside Lee to discuss fundamentals. Stoddard, in his 19th season with the Lancers, continues his devotion to seeing his players succeed by paying close attention when they thrive and when they fall short.

Marin echoed when reflecting on how Stoddard has helped her become more defensive despite her primarily offensive background at Pasadena High School.

“Marie Lee was doubting herself … the worst thing you can do when you miss the shot is focusing on missing the shot,” Stoddard said.

Marin spoke to the Courier about encouraging her teammates to take opportunities and to take the shot. She’s been scoring consistently this season and wants her teammates to be confident in taking the same opportunities.

“I want to create more opportunities for my team [next week],” Marin said.

According to Stoddard, at the end of the first half, goalie Mariah York was switched out for sophomore Christy Lam after an expressed interest from the team to give her a shot at being goalie. Lam managed to block a shot from LATT’s top scorer Genesis Carballo.

However, LATT attempted to make it a good birthday for their teammate, Melissa Mendoza, despite being down 10 points in the last quarter. PCC showed their good sportsmanship skills by shouting, “Happy birthday number 12!” before getting back into the water for the second half to secure their victory.

Carballo from LATT carried her team by scoring all five points, three of which were in the very last quarter according to PCC Lancer. Carballo’s efforts were deflected due to PCC’s relentless spread, scoring an additional six points in just the 3rd quarter alone.

“It’s all about balance, last year we were averaging about six points a game and now we are averaging 10,” Stoddard said.

Lancers will host East Los Angeles in a SCC match on Wednesday, October 11.

View our gallery of the match on Oct. 4 here.

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