Women win 4-0 while the Cougar men capture a 4-1 victory over Victor Valley.

Taft College opened the soccer season with a pair of impressive wins last Thursday.
Both the Cougar men and women cruised to non-conference victories over visiting Victor Valley College of Victorville.

The Cougar women played the first game of the season on the revamped Tenth Street soccer field, coming away with a 4-0 victory.

The men followed up with a 4-1 victory, spotting Victor Valley an early 1-0 lead before tying the game by halftime and turning up the heat in the second half.

Olivia Gonzales, a freshman midfielder/forward from Liberty High in Bakersfield, scored two goals to pace the Cougar offense.

Maria Arroyo scored the first goal of the season in the 13th minute when she drove home a shot by Patricia Garcia that ricocheted off the shin of Victor Valley goalie Brittany Alcala.

Gonzales made it 2-0 in the 26th minute, taking a pass from Maria Ibarra and driving a shot into the right corner of the net.

Sophomore midfielder Elena Drake made it 3-0 at the break with a high shot that went over Alcala’s leap in front of the goal.  Garcia got her second assist.

The Cougars had several good shots on goal early in the second half, but didn’t put the final touches on the scoring until the 71st minute when Gonzales took a crossing pass from Ibarra, who outmaneuvered a defender in the left corner.

Although the Cougar men took the initiative early, the Rams scored first in the 25th minute when forward Bobby Oniwen scored on a corner kick.

Twelve minutes later Cougar forward Ivan Dominguez tied it with a kick in close.

It remained deadlocked at the half, but the Cougars seized the initiative and took the lead for good two and a half minutes into the second half.

McKeen Akwaja, a sophomore forward from Bakersfield High, worked free in front of the net and drove a shot into the left corner.

Two minutes later sophomore forward Christian Hernandez scored on a crossing shot from the right side to make it 3-1.

Sophomore midfielder Miguel Ibarra put the finishing touches on the scoring in the 71st minute with a crossing shot after taking a nifty pass from Alex Caceres.

The Cougars had a number of other shots on goal that barely missed – two that hit the top post and two that caromed off the side posts.

Both teams will host non-conference games Thursday.

The men start things off this time with a 1 p.m. kickoff against Los Angeles Mission College while the women play Cerritos at 3.  Both games will be on the Tenth Street field.