Once undefeated at the start of the month, the Lancers suffered a terrible turn in fortune as they were delivered their worst home loss in the team’s history against Rio Hondo College on Tuesday and then fell to Cerritos College on Saturday.
The Lancers scored their first and only goal against the Roadrunners within the first seven minutes of the game. Lancer forward Sophia Noriega scored on a bounce pass by fellow forward Erica Perez, briefly tying the score at 1-1.
The team failed to maintain their offensive momentum and the Lancers defense soon fell apart, allowing Rio Hondo to pull off two hat tricks. When the dust finally settled, the final score tallied 9-1, leaving the Lancers winless going into their 8-game South Coast Conference.
When they returned to Robinson Stadium to face off against Cerritos College, the bad luck followed: the Falcons landed their first goal minutes into starting. The Lancers struggled to get down the field against a much more physical opponent willing to wrestle for the ball. Numerous breakaways culminated into the Falcons going into the second half with a comfortable two goal lead.
The first Lancer goal arrived a quarter into the second half, when forward Katy Coats feebly rolled the ball past the Falcon goalie on a breakaway at the 10 yard line.
As the pavilions were folded up and the shade crept up the field, the Lancers lost their timidity and began to match their opponents’ fierceness. Solid defense from midfielders Montserrat Menendez and Jillian Demasi stymied Cerritos scoring attempts.
An ugly trip on a rushing defender resulted in a red card called on Cerritos. The free kick by Coats from the 10 yard line ricocheted off the goal, but the rebound was quickly retrieved by Perez, who defiantly shot the ball into the net and put the Lancers within striking range.
Emboldened, the Lancers attempted a frenzied last minute rally. The Falcons successfully forbade them from getting another shot attempt, ending the game in a 3-2 loss for the Lancers.
Though dismayed at the team’s current struggles, head coach Francisco Cantero was proud of the girls’ inspired performance in the last minutes of the game. The team is optimistic for the future.
“They’re a good team,” said Cantero. “In the second half we were able to score some goals so in the last minutes it made the game a little more interesting. It feels a little bit better. The girls played very well and played with a lot of passion. It’s a tough loss but hopefully we learn from it.”
“I think it was a good way to come back from our last game,” said Menendez. “Just getting better and not giving so many opportunities to the other team. We had a sharper mentality in this game. We wanted it really bad and we didn’t want to lose any more. It’s our turning point.”
The Lancers hope to finally snap their losing streak when they host El Camino on Tuesday, Oct. 22, at 3 PM.