The Saddleback women's soccer team recorded a 3-1 win at Norco College on Tuesday in Norco. The Gauchos remain in fifth place in the Orange Empire Conference with five games remaining in the regular season.
Now in the stretch drive of the regular season, Saddleback couldn't afford a loss to the last place team while attempting to pick up key power points with the playoffs only three weeks away. It looked grim at first when Norco scored in the 29th minute to take a 1-0 lead and held the lead heading into the locker room at halftime.
Saddleback bounced back in the second half when Yasaman Zarea tied the game at 1-1 in the 50th minute off a pass from Mia Geaney. The goal was just what Saddleback needed as they surged past the Mustangs over the next 25 minutes to improve to 7-4-4 overall and 4-4-3 in Orange Empire Conference play.
Julia Lawson (pictured) put the Gauchos ahead in the 69th minute when Collette Halloran fed her for her third goal of the season. Lawson then put the icing on the cake with her fourth goal of the season off a pass from Samantha Belmonte in the 75th minute.
Saddleback outshot Norco 15-6 for the game, including a 10-3 advantage in shots on goal. Nina Ferreira played all 90 minutes in goal to pick up the win.
Saddleback is now alone in fifth place in the Orange Empire Conference with five games remaining. The Gauchos are two points back of fourth place Cypress in the standings, with Cypress having played one more game.
Saddleback resumes with a critical game at Golden West on Friday. The Gauchos and Rustlers are scheduled to start at 3:00 PM in Huntington Beach. Golden West (10-3-2, 7-2-1) is currently in third place in the OEC standings.