Unable to overcome a deficit of two goals during their state semifinal match, City College’s women’s soccer team saw their season end on Dec. 2 as they walked off the field after the final whistle.
But even though the scoreboard read that they had lost 0-2 to Santiago Canyon College, their coach Gabe Saucedo had nothing but praise for his team.
“This team is definitely the most talented team that I have ever had here at City College,” he said.
“We had so many struggles throughout the year in terms of team chemistry, but in the end we got it right and we were playing so hard that we didn’t know how to lose. I’d like to remember this team that worked on things both on and off the field. I thought they did a great job.”
From the start of the game Santiago Canyon took control with an early ball possession.
Under constant pressure from the Hawks offense, freshmen midfielder Laila Nossier made a defensive stop in the box, but the ball was rebounded right to Santiago Canyon forward Valerie Barrios who scored in the 24th minute.
“They were much more faster than a lot of the teams we have played,” said defender Gail Bassett. “They were much more coordinated and they kept coming at us every time.”
Seven minutes later the Hawks struck again when freshmen midfielder Jennifer Martin scored on a pass from Jenna Patel.
During the second half, the Rams had some opportunities to score but were unable to take advantage of clear shots toward the goal.
Despite their loss, Saucedo said his team still played a tough game.
“We kept everything the same way going into every other game,” he said. “We knew it was an important game and I thought we came out strong.”
Saucedo has turned the women’s soccer program completely around in just his third year as head coach.
Just two years ago the soccer team that Saucedo inherited won only five games all season.
Now with back-to-back conference championships and a record of 36-4-7 over his last two seasons, Saucedo is happy to see where the program is going.
“I think it is the result of having committed players,” he said. “The coaches put in a lot of work and everyone is real supportive around campus. We are going to build from here and it’s just going to keep getting better.”
Part of the team’s success during the last two years came in the form of forward Tera Piserchio.
In her two seasons she has led the Rams with 37 goals and 18 assists.
While she looks to take her game to the next level, she said that she holds these two years on the field close to her heart.
“It was very special. I think the whole team and the relationships are the best part of it,” Piserchio said, as she started to tear up. “We are really close and I think what hurts the most is that it is over.”
The Rams, finishing this season 19-2-3 (13-0-2), look forward to next season with both freshmen scorers Antonella Carrera and Stephanie Barragan returning.