Women's soccer team starts slow, falls to Orange Coast

Courtesy of Toni Lavacot
Courtesy of Toni Lavacot

Irvine Valley's women's soccer team gave up three goals in the first half and fell, 3-0, to Orange Coast in an Orange Empire Conference match on Tuesday at home.

Irvine Valley, which picked up its first conference win last Friday over Santa Ana, saw its record slip to 3-4-1 overall and 1-2-1 in conference. Orange Coast improved to 3-3-3 overall and 2-1-2 in conference.

After 25 minutes of back and forth action, Orange Coast took advantage of IVC losing the ball in its back end. Samantha Lombardo fed Syndee Busby and she finished a shot on the right side to give the Pirates a 1-0 lead.

Irvine Valley sophomore goalie Herminia Verduzco made a nice save on a point blank shot by Rachel Meier a few minutes later to keep the Lasers within a goal.

But Orange Coast made it a two-game game in the 39th minute. Cori Haney one-timed a cross from Jessica Bracken into the back of the net to give OCC a 2-0 advantage.

The Pirates scored their final goal with two minutes left in the first half.

Haney was fouled in the box and Emma Gomez converted the penalty kick with a shot to the left side.

Irvine Valley looked much sharper in the second half, but the Lasers couldn't answer with a goal.

Sophomore forward Crystal Lefebvre, freshman forward Alexandra Benedict, freshman midfielder Merna Mousa and freshman midfielder Suilma Martinez each created chances to score.

Lefebvre and Mousa each had shots saved by Orange Coast goalie Odalis Elias, who ended up earning the shutout. She made four saves on the afternoon.

Verduzco had three saves for Irvine Valley.

Irvine Valley plays again on Friday, traveling to Cypress for a 3 p.m. contest. It will be the Lasers' first road match in conference after playing the first four games at home.