The Saddleback women's soccer team moved into a tie for third place in the Orange Empire Conference standings with a 3-0 win at Golden West College on Friday in Huntington Beach. The Gauchos scored three times in the opening half in cruising to the win.
Saddleback started fast with Carina Rubalcaba scoring in the fourth minute for a 1-0 lead. It was Rubalcaba's second goal of the season and gave the Gauchos an early rush of momentum.
Saddleback made it 2-0 in the 12th minute when Paige Vitolo took a pass from Maliyah Medley and slid it past the keeper. It was the first goal in over two weeks for Vitolo, who now has nine for the year.
Saddleback put the game out of reach in the 40th minute when Medley scored her team-leading 11th goal of the season for a 3-0 lead off a pass from Chloe Deveze. Medley has been red hot as of late, scoring goals in seven of the last eight games.
Lehar Chawla started in goal and played 85 minutes, stopping all six shots she faced. Taylor Gayer played the final five minutes and preserves the shutout. It was the fifth shutout of the season for the Gauchos.
Saddleback (8-4-4, 5-2-3) now sits in a tie for third place with Fullerton College after the Hornets tied Santa Ana, 1-1, on Friday. In addition, the Gauchos are now just one point out of second place after Santiao Canyon fell to first place Cypress on Friday. Saddleback and Fullerton will meet on Tuesday at the OC Great Park in a critical OEC matchup. Game time is scheduled for 3:00 PM in Irvine.