Women’s soccer look to solidify perfect season in second half

    Emily Kelley / Roundup

    840 minutes. In that span of time one would be able to watch the entire “Lord of the Rings ” Trilogy plus the majority of “Titanic.” It’s the equivalent of 14 hours, basically the time it would take you to drive from here to Oregon.

    Pierce College women’s soccer goalie Marissa Graska chose to spend 840 minutes keeping the opposition out.

    Unfortunately, all good things come to an end, and Graska’s 11 game shut out streak came to an end with a goal during Friday’s game against College of the Canyons (6-6-2).

    “It’s disappointing,” said Graska. “But it had to happen sometime. And better now than in the playoffs.”

    Head Coach Adolfo Perez agreed and offered a possible cause.

    “I think it had a lot to do with our sweeper [freshmen Jennifer Venegas] being out,” said Perez. “When she’s been in, we haven’t allowed any goals.”

    Venegas injured her back two weeks ago during a game, and is expected to not return to the Pit for another two weeks.

    “Our backline is weakened,” said Graska. “There’s a lack of communication.”

    According to Perez, that lack of communication played a role in breaking Graska’s streak.

    “Two players thought they had it, but none of them had it,” said Perez.

    Despite this misfortune, the Brahmas are still undefeated, overall and in conference, and Graska is still the best community college goalie in the state.

    Perez said that with a tough second half ahead of them, they’ll need both the offense and the defense at peak form.

    The Brahmas faced (2-9-1) Valley yesterday, beating the Monarchs, 9-0.

    Sophomore forward Erica Vangsness dominated the game with four goals, bringing her season total to 22. This means she is only 4 goals away from breaking the all-time Pierce record of 26 goals in a single season with five games to go before the play offs.

    “I’m trying not to think about it,” said Vangsness. “Because if I think too much about it, I’ll get into my own head and I’ll start messing up.”

    As of press time, Vangsness is ranked third in the state.

    Pierce will face three tough teams on the road to the playoffs, including rival Santa Monica College (7-2-5), Bakersfield College (6-5-3) and Citrus College (8-3-4) on Friday.

    “They’re very physical,” said Perez about Citrus. “A team like that usually gives us problems.”

    The Brahmas have already beaten all three teams at home— 2-0, 2-0 and 3-0 respectively— but playing on the road is a different experience according to Graska and Vangsness.

    “It’s less pressure,” said Graska. “At home we have our fans and we have to worry about setting up and cleaning up. Away games are much less stressful.”

    Vangsness said she enjoys playing away because “they can just jump and the bus and go.”

    “We get to focus more on just playing, not all the other stuff if we were at home,” said Vangsness.

    With the playoffs less than a month away, Perez said that the ultimate goal is still to win a state championship.

    “If we can get everything together, we can do it,” said Perez. “As they say ‘Offense wins games. Defense wins championships.'”

    Vangsness said that the playoffs are obviously on the team’s mind, but they’re trying to stay focused.

    “We’re trying to take things one game at a time,” said Vangsness.

    ekelley.roundupnews@gmail.com

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