The Saddleback women's soccer team battled back from its first loss of the season with a 2-1 win at Fullerton College on Tuesday afternoon. The Gauchos stung the Hornets with a goal in the 82nd minute for the win.
Saddleback was still hurting from a loss to Santiago Canyon last week and with one of the top players in the state missing after getting injured against SCC, some wondered how they would respond. For the first 80 minutes it was somber, sitting on a 1-1 tie with a Fullerton squad that only has two wins for the year. Helene Hollidge ended the speculation, driving home a pass from Masie Velasquez to give the Gauchos a 2-1 lead with under eight minutes remaining. It would end up being the game-winner, with Saddleback improving to 8-1-3 overall and 5-1-2 in Orange Empire Conference play.
Saddlback took a 1-0 lead in the 13th minute when Rachel Edelstein rolled one past Fullerton keeper Marla Debarros off a pass from Hollidge (pictured). It was Edelstein's seventh goal of the season.
Fullerton tied the game in the second half when Kennedy Heywood scored off a pass from Amalia Serna. It was part of a second half surge for the Hornets, who held Saddleback to just a 14-10 advantage in total shots while holding a 7-4 advantage in shots on goal. Fortunately for the Gauchos, Dz-Rae Jara was up to the task in the nets, making six saves for the day.
Saddleback finishes the first half of conference play in third place after Cypress battled to a 2-2 tie with first place Santiago Canyon.
Saddleback will be back in action on Friday when they travel to inter-district rival Irvine Valley College for a 3:00 PM match. The Gauchos and Lasers tied 2-2 back on September 13 in their first meeting of the season.