The Saddleback women's soccer remained undefeated for the 2018 campaign with a 1-0 win over Norco College on Friday at the OC Great Park in Irvine. The Gauchos silenced the Mustangs in a physical battle to move into third place.
Saddleback and Norco were scoreless in the opening half despite the Gauchos holding a 13-2 advantage in shots on goal. The Gauchos finally broke through early in the second half when Marisa Covarrubias headed in a rebound that went off the crossbar in the 48th minute.
The two teams then got physical, as three yellow cards and two red cards were handed out over the final 20 minutes of play. The first yellow went to the Saddleback bench after they argued a call on what they thought was an illegal hit on one of their top defenders. Things deteriorated from there as the officiating crew seemed to let things get out of control. It reached a boiling point when Saddleback's Mia Geaney and Norco's Angie Vega got into a scrap in the 87th minute, leading to both players being ejected.
Saddleback held on for the 1-0 win in a game that felt more like a four-goal win. The Gauchos held a 17-5 advantage in shots on goal for the game, but were unable to distance themselves any further from the Mustangs despite constant pressure in the offensive zone.
Saddleback is now 5-0-2 overall and 2-0-1 in Orange Empire Conference play following the win. The Gauchos have two more home games next week, starting with Golden West College on Tuesday. Game time is scheduled for 1:00 PM at the OC Great Park.