Taylor Rowden | Courtesy TMC Athletics
Santa Clarita, CA — What The Master’s College couldn’t do in the first half, Taylor Rowden did in the second, scoring twice to propel the Mustangs past Embry-Riddle Aeronautical of Arizona 3-2 Saturday afternoon on Reese Field.
The win was the Mustangs’ second in a row and improved the nation’s 11th-ranked team to 2-3-1.
Following a scoreless first half during which both clubs had few scoring opportunities, the Mustangs had a great chance to get on the board first 4:11 into the second stanza but a penalty kick off the foot of Tara Struiksma (Ontario, CA) was saved by Eagle keeper Emily Lambert.
Over five minutes later, Rowden (Mission Viejo, CA) didn’t miss. Taking a pass from Kelsey Kukaua (Valencia, CA), the sophomore defender put the ball past Lambert for a 1-0 lead at the 54:45 mark.
Then, just less than five minutes later, Rowden was at it again. This time, she took a feed from Stephanie Albright (Upland, CA) and ripped it by Lambert at 59:39 to double the Mustang advantage.
Down 2-0, the Eagles responded quickly when Krista Lee put one by Mustang goalie Jessica Zubia (Bakersfield, CA) at the 61:21 mark, halving the deficit and offering some hope for the visitors.
However, that hope was dashed almost immediately as senior Mackenzie Taylor (Bakersfield, CA) turned a another pass from Kukaua into a goal at 62:05, extending the Mustang advantage to 3-1. Taylor’s second goal of the season proved to be the game-winner and capped a 7:20 window in which the game’s first four goals were scored.
Just as quickly, however, the defensive pattern of the first half re-emerged at least for the Mustangs who went without a shot on goal the rest of the way.
The Eagles, meanwhile, were far from finished, testing Zubia with a trio of shots down the stretch, the last of which found the net off the foot of Kayln Goodenough with 2:42 left to play.
However, that was the last gasp for the Eagles who couldn’t generate any more offense in the match’s waning moments.
The Mustangs wound up outshooting the Eagles 11-8 and Zubia picked up her second win (2-1-1) of the season, recording two saves.
After enjoying a week-long break in between wins, the Mustangs now have a four-day rest before welcoming the University of Antelope Valley to Reese Field for a 4:00pm start on Thursday, September 17.