While the recent spotlight has been cast upon SLCC’s men’s soccer team and their 4-2 victory over the University of Utah at Rio Tinto Stadium, the Lady Bruins soccer squad has been shining in a light of their own. Many on campus aren’t aware that while SLCC women’s soccer was reinstated just last year, the Lady Bruins are a competitive and successful squad in their own right.
“We’ve had two home game wins so far this season,” said SLCC head women’s soccer coach Amanda Evans. “We beat Western Wyoming Community College, 8-0, and Northwest Community College out of Wyoming by a score of 3-0.”
The ladies of SLCC soccer also had an early season road trip down to southern Utah where they took on the girls of Dixie State University (DSU). DSU is a Division II school, and a four-year institution. Heavy underdogs, the Lady Bruins went into the friendly match on Aug. 20 with the goal of gaining valuable experience against a more established soccer program.
“In the first half, we were terrible and we went down 4-0,” said SLCC forward Lindsey Hansen, who has already recorded two hat tricks (three-goal games) this season. “We came out in the second half, played much better, and were able to hold Dixie to a 0-0 half–we’re proud of that.”
Though SLCC lost to Dixie State 4-0, Evans feels that the game wasn’t without its benefits to the Lady Bruins. Following the contest, Evans had the opportunity to speak with Dixie’s head coach, who had some positive things to say about SLCC women’s soccer.
“She was very complimentary, and told me that this was the best women’s SLCC team that she’s ever seen,” Evans said. “At the end of the day, we were happy with how we ended the game, but we wish that we could have started a little bit better.”
Playing on the synthetic turf in Dixie proved to be a bit challenging for the Lady Bruins, who are used to practicing and playing games on real grass.
“We’re not used to playing on a turf field, and the ball runs so fast on that surface—it was a little scary,” Evans said. Turf causes the soccer ball to take higher and more unpredictable bounces, which can be problematic for those players who aren’t familiar with it, especially goalkeepers.
SLCC’s men’s and women’s soccer teams both played home games against Treasure Valley Community College (TVCC) of Oregon on Aug. 24. The Bruin men were beaten by TVCC, losing by a 3-0 score line. Following the men’s game, the Lady Bruins took the field in what was to be a much more competitive contest.
The Lady Bruins were able to score first against TVCC on a rebound goal that was knocked in by SLCC forward Hansen in the 11th minute. With a couple of recent easy wins under their belts, SLCC’s ladies relaxed after scoring first and it didn’t take long for them to pay the price. TVCC scored to tie the game at 1-1 just two minutes later.
“I guess we were worried about the ref, and we ended up letting [TVCC] score on us,” said Lady Bruin midfielder Briana Orozco, a political science major at SLCC. “We thought that the girl [from TVCC] was offside, but it wasn’t called and they were able to score.”
No more scoring would occur in the first half of the match, and the teams walked off the pitch tied at one goal each. The second half would hold many scoring opportunities, but only one ball would find the back of the net.
“TVCC took a corner kick in the second half, and their player kicked the ball to the far post, but when our keeper tried to knock the ball away, it hit the crossbar and snuck behind her into the net,” Hansen said. TVCC’s fortunate second goal would be all they needed, as the first-year program from Oregon was able to hold on for the 2-1 victory over SLCC.
“I think that we weren’t working as a team,” said Lady Bruin captain and future surgical technician Lacey Montgomery. Montgomery is in her first season at SLCC.
Montgomery describes her job as a center midfielder as being a playmaker for the team, setting other teammates up, and getting the ball forward so that the girls up front can score the goals.
“People got out of position, and we weren’t communicating out there. We weren’t finishing on our chances—we have to finish, finish, finish,” said SLCC captain and center defender Tara Russell.
The TVCC loss came in the last home game of the entire season for the Lady Bruins. The team will now play every last one of their remaining games away from home. There aren’t many women’s soccer teams locally, and as a result SLCC doesn’t have any option but to take their show on the road.
“We’re all ready to play—we’re excited to go out on the road and show these other teams who the Lady Bruins are, and to make ’em remember us,” said Russell, who is known as the “main talker on the field.”
The Lady Bruins are optimistic about their chances in these away games. The coaching staff plans to schedule proactively in order to make it to game sites the night before each game, instead of on the day of the match.
“Last year, we drove all the way to Santa Barbara, California, got off the bus, and had to play almost right away,” Evans said. “It wasn’t pretty. We’re definitely going to make sure that doesn’t happen again.”
While Evans is officially the head coach of SLCC women’s soccer, she’s got some very reliable help from her husband Tony and shies away from referring to him as an “assistant” coach. Tony emphasizes the importance of teamwork and togetherness to the team, especially on the road.
“The girls have caught on from day one. They’ve really displayed their commitment to this program, to each other, and to their goals as far as education and soccer,” said Tony Evans. “It’s pretty incredible when you know that only a couple of them knew each other before this season.”
Both coaches are excited and optimistic about the future of women’s soccer at SLCC, but are always focused on making the team and program better.
“We’re definitely happy with where we’re currently at, but we’re not satisfied,” said Tony Evans. “We expect a lot more out of ’em with the talent level that we have, and it’s just a matter of time until things really get clicking.”
Though the ladies of SLCC soccer won’t be playing any more home games this season, it’s still possible to follow the team. The Lady Bruins’ schedule, win and loss results, and 2010 recruiting video are available at slcc.edu/sll/competition_soccer.asp.