Women's Soccer defeats Occidental in SCIAC opener

By Alexandra De Leon
La Verne Athletics Communication

LA VERNE, Calif. — Tatiana Raygoza and Cassidy Schweiger each found the net to lead the University of La Verne women's soccer team to victory in its SCIAC opener against the Occidental Tigers, 2-1.

The Leopards improve to 3-1-1 overall and 1-0 in SCIAC. The Tigers fall to 1-3 and 0-1.

The Leopards controlled the play early and found the opening goal in the seventh minute. Goalkeeper Jasmine Valadez kicked the ball to the left wing and defender Cambria Smith flicked a back header, which freed up Raygoza for a one-on-one opportunity with the Occidental goalkeeper. Raygoza then coolly put the ball in the net to the Leopards their first goal.

The Leopards second goal was more unconventional. Raygoza played a pass into the box from the wing, which ended up at the feet of Alexa Smith. Smith mishit the ball, landing the ball in front of Schweiger who casually hit the ball past the goalkeeper for the game winner in the 24th minute.

The Leopards defense was on point tonight, shutting down reigning SCIAC Athlete of the Year Julie Khil and 2014 First Team All-SCIAC Michaela Tsuha. Freshman Idalys Martinez was especially impressive, keeping pace with the speedy Oxy attackers on the wings and cutting off plays with big tackles when needed.

Oxy got one back in the 86th minute when Anissa Raja headed one in off a long free kick by Kelsey Hung.

The Leopards return to action on Saturday when it hosts Whittier at 7 p.m.