The Saddleback women's soccer team has had one of the best seasons in program history and now awaits a playoff announcement in the next few days. The Gauchos finished off the regular season with a 5-1 win over Fullerton.
The beginning of the season was historic, with Saddleback dashing out of the gate with a tremendous start and setting a program record by not losing in its first 10 games. However, lost in all the numbers was a sensational finish after a number of injuries, which may have been just as impressive. The Gauchos rallied down the stretch, including a dominating performance on Friday.
Saddleback led 3-0 at the intermission on Friday after Connor Steinbeck tallied her fourth goal of the season and Helene Hollidge connected twice, giving her six goals for the year. Both Steinbeck and Hollidge were players that have made their presence known after a number of injuries, combining on six goals after leading scorer Emilee Monnig went down with an injury.
The second half saw a veteran get into the action as Breanna Taboada scored her second and third goals of the season in the 60th and 87th minutes, giving Saddleback a commanding 5-1 lead.
Saddleback's defense was in full control, allowing the Gauchos to outshoot Fullerton 10-2 in shots on goal. Dz-Rae Jara recorded yet another win, playing all 90 minutes.
The win gives Saddleback a 12-3-5 record for the season, finishing 9-3-4 in Orange Empire Conference play. The Gauchos finish the regular season in fourth place, one point back of Orange Coast and four points back of second place Cypress.
Saddleback has the No. 10 ranking in power points among teams in Southern California, which should put them well within the requirements to qualify for the 18-team playoff field.