Things just keep getting better for The Master’s College women’s soccer team’s sixth-year head coach Curtis Lewis.
On Tuesday, Lewis’ 12th-ranked Lady Mustangs took to the road and opened GSAC play against No. 22 Biola. TMC beat the Eagles 2-0.
Today, the Lady Mustangs returned to Reese Field for a conference match against Arizona Christian. At the end of 90 blustery minutes, TMC’s tidal wave of scoring doused the Firestorm 4-0, giving the Lady Mustangs their seventh shutout of the year. For Lewis, the win marked his 80th career victory as head coach of the Lady Mustangs.
Devon Goff (Canyon Country, CA) led the charge ten minutes into play by scoring in unassisted fashion. Five minutes later, Natasha Coyle (La Hambra, CA) capitalized off an assist from Jasmine Benson (Corona, CA), giving the Lady Mustangs a 2-0 advantage.
At the break, TMC had outshot the Firestorm 14-2.
After halftime, Coyle extended the Lady Mustangs’ lead to 3-0 off an assist from Jordan Benson (Corona, CA) at the 59:37 mark. Two minutes later, Jasmine Benson put the match well out of reach by scoring an unassisted goal, putting the Lady Mustangs ahead at 4-0.
“We have really been blessed by God as He has graciously given us a fantastic start to this season,” assessed Lewis. “Credit to the girls as they have continued to come out and attempt to love God and love others this season. We just want to take one game at a time and continue to improve.”
The Lady Mustangs are indeed improving. In the 4-0 shutout, Lewis managed to give every active player on TMC’s roster valuable playing time. Collectively, the team outshot the Firestorm 28-3 and tallied seven corner kicks. Defensively, Lady Mustang standout goalkeeper Ilyssa Espiritu (Bakersfield, CA), tallied her 10th win of the season.
Lewis’s Lady Mustangs now look to keep their undefeated season alive on the road next Wednesday in a 3:00pm match at No. 18 Concordia 6-0-2 (1-0 GSAC).
“Concordia is obviously a top-notch team and it’s always a battle when you play them. Chris Gould has done a great job organizing his undefeated team. We look forward to facing them on Wednesday.”
Jim Rickard would take a 13-5 shots on goal advantage any time his team steps on the field, betting on that disparity to translate into goals and a Mustang win.
However, The Master’s College 23rd-year head coach couldn’t make his squad convert consistently while Arizona Christian made the most of its shots to eke out a 2-1 victory over the Mustangs Saturday afternoon on Reese Field.
The loss was the second consecutive conference defeat for the Mustangs, dropping them to 0-2 in the GSAC and 1-6-1 overall. The Firestorm improved to 8-2 overall and 1-1 in conference play.
Despite the defeat, Rickard said, “Our forwards are working hard to get good chances and our midfielders are doing a lot of great things to put teams under pressure but we aren’t scoring.”
One of those chances produced a score at the 25:05 mark of the opening half when Jorge Serrano (Sylmar, CA) fired a shot past Firestorm keeper Jorge Arauz for a 1-0 lead. It was Serrano’s third tally of the campaign.
Seeking to expand their lead, the Mustangs had a pair of chances over the next four-plus minutes but Arauz was up to the task, stopping shots by Joey Mikulas (Monument, CO) and Austin Michelson (Scotts Valley, CA).
Meanwhile, ACU wasn’t doing very much on the other end of the field until the 43rd minute (42:09) when TJ Seltzer put one by Mustang goalie Christian Bryant (Plymouth, MI) to knot the match.
Then, just 1:18 (43:27) later, the Firestorm struck again when Matt Horrigan sent one past Bryant with what proved to be the game-winner.
Much of the Mustangs’ pounding of the Firestorm goal took place over the final 45 minutes when they directed nine at the net. Four of those came in the first 10 minutes of the second half and two more in a 38-second span in the match’s 65th minute.
The Mustangs had one more shot in the final minute but a Brett Croft (Hesperia, CA) shot was stopped by Arauz and the clock ran out on the Mustangs.
Analyzing the loss and his club’s recent play, Rickard said, “We are playing very good soccer but not finishing and making a couple of mistakes that keep costing us goals. We just have to keep working and fight our way out of these bad results. We need to focus on getting results. There are no easy wins in conference (GSAC) play.”
An opportunity to get one of those wins will come on Tuesday when the Mustangs return to action, traveling to Irvine to take on Concordia.