Both goals scored in second half

Taft College made just two goals out in 29 tries, but it was enough for the Cougar women’s soccer team to score a 2-0 win Tuesday over visiting Allan Hancock College. It was the season opener.

Sophomore midfielder/forward Joanna Espinoza scored a goal and had an assist to lead an offense that struggled to get the ball into the net.

“I thought the girls did a great job,” said head coach Myisha Cutrona.  “They did a great job of possessing the ball but had a little trouble scoring.  We had 29 shots on goal but just scored two goals.  That was a little disappointing because we were definitely the better team.”

Cristina Salazar, a freshman midfielder/forward from Bakersfield High, drilled home the first goal in the 69th minute after a scoreless first half.

Espinoza, a sophomore who prepped at Highland in Bakersfield, got the assist, then came back 19 minutes later to score the clincher on a pass from Emily Galland, a freshman midfielder from Bakersfield’s Liberty High.

Cutrona singled out the work of sophomore defender Daisy Guitron, a Taft High product, and midfielder Rebecca Vazquez, a freshman from Highland.

“They both played a phenomenal game,” Cutrona said.

Sophomore defender Kaylnn Talaotu-Kealoha of Hawaii also received accolades.

“She’s not a starter but got a chance to start for us because the regular starter was late for practice,” the coach said.  “She really made the most of that opportunity.”

Goalkeeper Lizette Gomez of Shafter worked the net, deflecting all four Bulldog shot attempts.

Cutrona wants her team to play a more disciplined scheme when the Cougars travel to Salinas today for the Hartnell College tournament.  TC plays host Hartnell at noon today and takes on Cabrillo Saturday at 2.

“The mistakes we made could hurt us if we can’t correct them,” she said.  “We’re not as disciplined as I would like us to be.”

One of the things Cutrona likes most about her team is its depth.

“We have subs who are gamers,” she said.  “That’s nice to see.  I’ve never had that before.  I usually have nine strong starters but not many subs.  With this team I have 11 strong starters and subs to keep it strong.”

Men stranded

Meanwhile, the Cougar men didn’t make it to their Tuesday evening match in Santa Barbara.  Their charter bus broke down and the team had to return home.  The game was re-scheduled for Thursday.