Lady Knights fight for lead in season opener

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Captain Melissa Arauz splits Saddleback’s defense effortlessly as the Lady Knights went on to win the game 1-0 on Aug. 28.

Sidney Bryant

Andi Milburn, head coach of women’s soccer here at City College, led  her Lady Knights to victory in a game that was filled with emotions and intensity.

By defeating the Saddleback Gauchos 1-0 on Aug. 28, the San Diego City College Lady Knights   won their season opener, a feat they have not managed in four years.

“It was a great win today. I was very proud in my teams overall performance, their defensive efforts,  and their will to keep fighting when things got tough out there,” said Milburn.

The entire Lady Knights team kept their defense up throughout the game, they fought every inch Saddleback tried to take.

Freshmen defender, Maricarmen Guevara received player of the game honors for her stellar performance on the defensive side of the field. Guevara was all over the field colliding with the opposition, creating and making steals, and just being in the right places at the right time.

“Maricarmen was outstanding today.  Her intensity and competitiveness rubbed off on us all,” said freshmen forward Melissa Arauz, who is also the team captain.

For 90 minutes, the Lady Knights gave the Gauchos all they  could ask for. Throughout the games entirety, both squads did  everything they could to score. The defe nses of both clubs were sharp and precise, therefore scoring was limited.

The game’s lone goal was scored around the 9 minute mark in the first-half where it seemed as  if City was in total   control  after Saddleback showed signs  of fatigue and discombobulation. City  went into half-time with a 1-0 lead and never looked back.

“Saddleback was a great opponent to open up  the season against. They  were a well coached and balanced squad,” said Arauz. “We came out on top, and that’s all that matters.”

The Lady Knights showed tremendous amounts of endurance throughout the game.  During the  off-season, Coach Milburn had   the team doing more

cross-country running so they could sustain themselves for long periods of time.

“This year’s team has bought into my philosophy. They train  extremely hard, the coach ability is present, and they express good team chemistry, said Milburn. “This is a very solid group.”

And as for philosophy, Milburn and her coaching staff have a set curriculum directly for the players  where they expect the team to embrace responsibility, take care of their priorities, be respectful at all times, take pride in everything they do, always show sportsmanship whether they win or lose, strive for discipline,  always maintain   self-control, and be  the biggest believers in teamwork.

The Lady Knights look forward with  victory in mind.

“Our team   goal this season is for everyone to finish the semester with  a 3.0 average,” Milburn said with a smile. “Our ultimate team goal is to advance to the postseason.”

The Lady  Knights will begin conference play Sept. 11,  where they will play the Grossmont Griffins at 1 p.m. in Grossmont.