As the end of the Knights women’s soccer season approaches, a bright spot of an otherwise dismal year is the defense’s ability to shut down opponents.
On Nov. 5, the Spartans from MiraCosta College visited a team that, on paper, looks like an easy win. However, the ladies from MiraCosta found out that the Knights’ back four are, at times, impenetrable.
Despite the outstanding play from the defense, City College fell to MiraCosta 0-1. Head coach Andi Milburn attributed the goal to a late injury to one of her defenders.
“The team didn’t adjust quickly enough to the sub stepping on,” Milburn said. “There was a lack of communication. The keeper second-guessed coming off the line, and the other team capitalized and buried it in the back of the net.”
Unfortunately, the defense that played so well against MiraCosta on that warm Friday afternoon seemed to be as cold as the temperature on Tuesday night, when the Knights went to Mesa College to face the Olympians. Mesa was able to score seemingly at will, and City College suffered a 7-0 loss.
When Mesa scored their second goal in the first 10 minutes, it was obvious City College was going to need a scoring threat. But when the halftime whistle blew – just moments after Mesa scored their third goal – the Knights had yet to cause Mesa’s back line any real concern.
In the second half, Mesa’s goal total was more than doubled, thanks in part to a hat trick by forward Bryttni Chisholm.
City College played their final game of the season against the Palomar College Comets on Friday Nov. 12. The Comets put 6 past the Knights without conceding a goal. It was the 15th clean sheet posted against the Knights this season, a tough pill to swallow — but one that never stopped the Knights from fighting in every game.
“Despite our record, the ladies were committed to the team and never gave up,” Milburn said.
The officiating in the Mesa game was poor. Despite two blatant fouls against City College’s keeper, Claudia Quiroz, no cards were issued to the offending Mesa players.
“The center (referee) let the other team get away with (only) verbal warnings,” said Milburn. “This set the tone that this type of play was okay and led to several injuries.”
A yellow card was finally shown to a Mesa player late in the second half, after coaches repeatedly voiced their displeasure at the center ref’s hesitation to book offending players.
With all of the women on the squad being freshman, there is the silver lining of possibly building on this team for next year. If Coach Milburn recruits an attacker with a nose for the goal, the Knights have the potential to be a legitimate threat.
“We already have a couple (strikers) in mind,” said Milburn.