The Saddleback women's soccer team secured a 1-1 tie against Cypress College on Tuesday at the OC Great Park in Irvine. The tie temporarily moves the Gauchos into a tie for fifth place in the Orange Empire Conference, pending other results.
Saddleback was in need of at least earning a tie with one of the top programs in Southern California, giving them critical power points if they are going to earn a playoff berth in November. The Gauchos responded with a gutty performance, holding on in the defensive end with Cypress pressing forward in the second half of play.
Cypress scored first in the 7th minute when Morgan Patea scored off a pass from Martha Martinez to give the Chargers a 1-0 lead. Saddleback answered in the 21st minute when Caitlin Dolan scored off a pass from Yasamin Zarea to tie the game at 1-1. It was Dolan's third goal in the past two games after being held scoreless for the first 12 games of the season.
Saddleback was very physical throughout, recording 12 fouls on the afternoon. Cypress put on pressure in the last 10 minutes but Gaucho keeper Nina Ferreira made a save on Audree Campos in the 81st minute and consecutive saves on shots from Rebecca DiDonato in the 83rd and 85th minutes to preserve the tie.
Saddleback is now 6-4-4 overall and 3-4-3 in Orange Empire Conference play following the tie. The Gauchos will have the rest of the week off before heading to Norco College next Tuesday for a 3:00 PM game against the Mustangs. Saddleback beat Norco 1-0 earlier in the season in what turned out to be one of the more physical games of the season, with both teams receiving a red card in the match.
OTHER NOTE: Saddleback is now tied with Orange Coast College for fifth place in the OEC standings. The Pirates were playing later in the day at home against Fullerton College.