The Saddleback women's soccer team took a giant leap forward to a playoff spot on Tuesday with a 1-0 win over Fullerton College at the Saddleback Stadium. The Gauchos scored in extra time after dominating throughout.
Saddleback opened the night needing a win against a good team and knew a win over second place Fullerton would look great on the resume. The Gauchos turned the tables on the Hornets, knocking them all the way down to fourth place in the standings. In addition, Saddleback now sits just two points behind Fullerton in the standings with two games remaining on the schedule.
Saddleback was stifling on defense, surrendering zero shots on goal in recording their 10th shutout of the season. In the process, the Gauchos extended their unbeaten string to seven games.
The contest was lopsided on paper, with Saddleback outshooting Fullerton 19-4, including a 9-0 advantage in shots on goal. The only question remaining was whether or not the Gauchos would score to take a lead.
Fullerton gave Saddleback a shot in the 90th minute when taking down a Saddleback player and giving the Gauchos a direct free kick. Saddleback took advantage when Collette Halloran blasted one past Fullerton keeper Savannah Dyer for her third goal of the season.
Dz-Rae Jara played the entire 90 minutes in net and faced no shots on goal for her eighth shutout of the season. Jara has surrendered just 11 goals all season for a 0.69 goals-against average.
Saddleback is now 9-4-5 overall and 6-4-4 in Orange Empire Conference play. The win also moved the Gauchos into 10th place in Southern California in power points, which is one of the determining factors in qualifying for the payoffs.
Saddleback has a brutal test at home on Friday when it hosts first place Santiago Canyon College. The Gauchos fell 2-0 to the Hawks in the opening round of OEC play at SCC on October 3. Kickoff is set for 1:00 PM in the stadium.