Gauchos make dogs obey in playoff opener

Gauchos make dogs obey in playoff opener

The Saddleback women's soccer team opened the CCCAA Regional Playoffs with a 3-0 win against Allan Hancock College on Thursday at the Great Park in Irvine.  The Gauchos dominated the Bulldogs from start to finish in advancing in the playoffs.

Saddleback opened the scoring in the 11th minute when Maliyah Medley sprinted past a couple of defenders and found Paige Vitolo wide open in front of the net for her 14th goal of the season and a 1-0 lead.  Less than five minutes later, Medley took a loose ball and connected on her own for her 14th goal of the season and a 2-0 lead.  Saddleback took the 2-0 lead into the locker room at halftime, outshooting the Bulldogs 7-2 over the first 45 minutes. 

Saddleback put more pressure on Allan Hancock in the second half, eventually putting the game away in the 81st minute when Alyssa Stapinski scored an unassisted goal for a 3-0 lead.  It was Stapinski's third goal of the season and prompted the coaching staff to get a number of fresh jerseys into the game.

Saddleback finished with a 20-5 advantage in total shots for the game and an 8-1 advantage in shots-on-goal.  Taylor Gayer played the entire 90 minutes in goal for the Gauchos, turning away the one shot she faced.

Saddleback (12-5-4) will now travel to Rio Hondo College to take on the Roadrunners in the next round of the playoffs on Saturday.  Rio Hondo is the No. 2 seed for the playoffs after finishing the regular season 15-1-3 and winning the South Coast Conference title.  The game time has yet to be determined.