Taft College Cougars Women Soccer


The Taft College women’s soccer program began its inaugural season in 2006. Over the past years the program has earned recognition competing against some of the top teams in the northern region and the state. Taft College has provided a soccer home for those young athletes who aspire to grow and become competitors at the collegiate level. The program is designed to enhance our athletes mental, physical, and technical skill through a sport-specific conditioning program, weight training, and intense practices throughout the pre-season, season, and post-season. The aim is not only to have a successful season, but to assist athletes in their pursuit of competing beyond the community college level.

The staff is comprised of coaches who care for the development of their athletes on and off the field. They put a strong emphasis toward education and believe that the student comes before the athlete. In conjunction with the athletic department and athletic advisor, the coaches work toward ensuring their athletes are ready to transfer academically to a four-year institution.

We would like to invite any and all student-athletes who seek a program that is dedicated to the success of its participants. We will do our best to make your experience here at Taft College one that you will not forget nor regret. Come out and become a part of an exciting team and family!!!

Cougar Women Win Again, Knock Off No. 2 Sierra
by Dennis McCall
Taft Midway Driller
November 28, 2013

ROCKLIN – Taft College continues to be the surprise of this year’s women’s soccer playoffs.

The Cougars are the No. 10 seed in the northern California playoffs and so far have dispatched No. 7 Mendocino (last Saturday) and No. 2 Sierra (Tuesday).

Now they are taking another trip to northern California Saturday to take aim at No. 3 City College of San Francisco.

The prize for the winner is a berth in the final four Dec. 6-8 at Cosumnes River College in Sacramento.

“We are very excited,” said head coach Myisha Cutrona.

The Cougars essentially put the No. 2 seeded Sierra Wolverines away early in the first half.

Joanna Espinoza, who has been the team’s brightest star all season, scored both Cougar goals.

The first was in the ninth minute on a pass from Selina Chacon.

The sophomore from Highland High in Bakersfield hooked up with Cristina Salazar four minutes later to make it 2-0.

Nine minutes later Carissa Schlesinger scored the Wolverines only goal off a corner kick.

There was no scoring after that although it wasn’t from a lack of trying by the Wolverines, who took 23 shots in the game, keeping Cougar goalkeeper Marissa Alcala busy. The freshman from Frontier High was credited with nine saves – six of them in the first half.

“We dominated in the first half,” Cutrona said. “In the second half we played secure defense.”

Espinoza now has 28 goals on the season.

San Francisco (18-2-2) made it to the semifinals by defeating No. 14 Diablo Valley 4-1 and No. 6 Folsom Lake 2-0. It was Folsom Lake’s first loss.

The Cougars are 15-4-2.

Cougar Women Upset Mendocino
by Dennis McCall
Taft Midway Driller
November 25, 2013

UKIAH – Taft College scored three unanswered first half goals here Saturday and cruised to an upset victory over Mendocino College in the first round of the state women’s soccer playoffs.

The 4-2 win put the Cougars into a second round match with No. 2 seed Sierra College on Tuesday in Rocklin.  Check taftmidwaydriller.com for the results.

Entering the playoffs the Cougars were seeded 10th and undefeated Mendocino seventh.

After spotting the Eagles an early goal in the seventh minute Cougar standout Joanna Espinoza responded with back-to-back unassisted goals, the second one on a penalty kick, to give TC the lead.

Head coach Myisha Cutrona said her team was ready to play despite the long trip.

“We got to the field a couple of hours before the game started so our girls could get some touches on the ball and get comfortable with the field,” she said.  “I think they might have come out a little overconfident so I felt right away we would win the game.”

She wasn’t worried that the Eagles scored a quick goal.

“We came back strong after they scored their goal.”

Espinoza’s goals, her 25th and 26th of the season, came in the 25th and 34th minutes – the second one on a penalty kick following a handball call.

In the 42nd minute, freshman midfielder/forward Cristina Salazar took a pass from Selina Chacon and drilled home a shot off the post that gave the Cougars a 3-1 lead at the break.

The Cougars then essentially sealed the victory when Leilani Ponce, a sophomore forward from Taft High, knocked in an unassisted goal in the 42nd minute off a corner kick that was headed by a Mendocino defender.

“She made a flying tackle kick that went into the back of the net,” Cutrona said.

Mendocino scored a goal with two minutes left to finish the scoring.

Cougar goalkeeper Marissa Alcala, a freshman from Frontier High in Bakersfield, had a stellar game, saving seven of Mendocino’s nine shots on goal.

The victory pushed the Cougars’ season record to 14-4-2 while Mendocino finished 16-1-4.

“We played hard,” Cutrona said.  “It was a nice victory and gives us some confidence going into the game against Sierra.”

Cougar Soccer Teams Open Playoffs on Saturday
by Dennis McCall
Taft Midway Driller
November 22, 2013

Both Taft College soccer teams open state playoff action Saturday – the men hosting a game while the women will hit the road.

The Cougar men were seeded No. 5 in the northern California playoffs and will entertain No. 12 Las Positas College of Livermore Saturday at 2 p.m. on the San Emidio Street field.

Las Positas finished 10-6-3 and was runner-up in the north division of the Coast Conference.

The Hawks lost to Cougar rival Fresno 1-0 early in the season.

  Leading scorers are Efrain Bonilla, Jesus Carriedo and Jonathan Orozco.

Head coach Angelo Cutrona said he knows very little about Las Positas other than “our statistics are pretty similar.  I know it’s going to take a group effort to win Saturday.”

The Cougar women, drawing the No. 10 seed, will make the 388 mile, six hour plus trip to Ukiah to take on No. 7 and undefeated Mendocino College (16-0-4) at 2 p.m.

The Eagles are champions of the Bay Valley Conference, have scored 82 goals and allowed just 14.  Team leader is Anna Waldman, who has scored 30 goals, fourth best in the state.

The men’s team repeated as Central Valley Conference champion, but the women fell short in their bid for their first crown a week ago when they lost a bid to unseat Fresno, the No. 1 north seed.

The men’s team got off to a slow start this season after going undefeated last season before falling to state champion Mt. San Antonio in the semifinals.  The Cougars won their last eight games to finish 12-5-2.

The women’s team got off to a good start before losing twice to Santa Barbara but tied southern California powerhouse Chaffey.  They tied Fresno on the road then lost at home, the only blemishes on their conference record.

Head coach Myisha Cutrona isn’t too worried about the long trip north.

“We plan to leave at 5:30 Saturday morning,” she said.  “That should give us time to work out the stiffness from the long bus ride.”

Her advice to her team:

“It’s a great experience for these girls.  I want them to enjoy the experience.  Don’t leave the field with any regrets.”

If both teams win they will advance to the next Tuesday’s second round.

The men would be matched up with the winner of the No. 13 Cabrillo at No. 4 Hartnell match-up – hosting if Cabrillo wins but traveling to Salinas if Hartnell triumphs

Fresno Stuns TC, Claims Women's Title
by Dennis McCall
Taft Midway Driller
November 18, 2013

It was expected to be one of those epic struggles.

Taft College and Fresno City College were tied at the top of the Central Valley Conference women’s soccer race and meeting in the regular season finale with the title at stake.

The teams had tied 1-1 when they played in Fresno on Oct. 29,and although defending champion Fresno was ranked much higher than Taft, the Cougars were hosting and looking to replace the Rams as CVC champion.

It was close in the beginning with TC scoring first, then Fresno getting two goals to take the lead and then the Cougars tying it.

At that point, the more physical Rams took control and never relented, scoring three more goals – the last two on essentially uncontested shots.

Twice in the second half Ram attackers faked out Cougar defenders away from the goal and went one-on-one with goalkeeper Marissa Alcala who was powerless to stop the open shots.

Alcala had her busiest day of the season scrambling against Fresno’s relentless offensive push.

The Rams took 17 shots compared to Taft’s eight.  Fresno had 13 shots on goal – five hitting their mark.  Alcala recorded eight saves.

Her counterpart, Tara Togami, had an easier day.  The Cougars managed five shots on goal.  Two got past the Fresno keeper.

The first came from freshman midfielder/forward Cristina Salazar, who took a pass from Joanna Espinoza for a score in the 18th minute.

Fresno countered with goals from Cristyn Chavez and Dallana Ortiz to take a 2-1 lead at the half.

TC tied it in the 48th minute on a goal by Celia Rangel, who outmaneuvered a Fresno defender in the right corner and took a shot from a tough angle.  It barely cleared the post, skipped off Togami and dribbled across the line.

After that it was all Fresno.

The Rams finished the regular season ranked No. 2 in the state and No. 1 in northern California in the power rankings.  The Cougars finished 11th in NorCal and 26th in the state.

Fresno finished 5-0-1 in the conference and 17-1-3 overall while the Cougars are 4-4-4 and 13-4-2

TC Women Prepare for Stretch Run
by Dennis McCall
Taft Midway Driller
November 4, 2013

The Taft College women’s soccer team will take this week off to get ready for the final two regular season and conference matches that carry enormous ramifications for the playoffs.

The Cougars (3-0-1 CVC, 12-3-1 overall), who blanked College of the Sequoias 3-0 at home Friday, travel to Lemoore a week from today to take on West Hills-Lemoore (1-2-1 CVC, 7-7-3 overall).

They will close out the season at home Nov. 15 against Fresno City College (2-0-1, 14-1-3) in a match that will determine the conference champion.

Fresno is ranked No. 1 in the state and northern California in the power rankings while the Cougars are No. 20 in the state and No. 9 in NorCal.  TC moved up five spots in the state rankings after playing Fresno to a tie in Fresno last week.

In the sports information directors poll, Fresno is No. 5 in the state and No. 2 in the north region while the Cougars are No. 15 and 8 respectively.

In the win over COS, Joanna Espinoza got her 23rd and 24th goals of the season, which ranks her third in the state.

Leilani Ponce got her third goal. Both also had an assist.

For Espinoza it was her 11th and the first for Taft High product Ponce.

Celia Rangel got her second assist of the year.

Goalkeeper Marissa Alcala had an easy day as the Cougar defenders kept the Giants from making a serious threat to the goal.

It was the fourth win in a row for the Cougars.

Espinoza's Late Goal Earns TC Tie with No. 1 Fresno
by Dennis McCall
Taft Midway Driller
October 31, 2013

FRESNO – Joanna Espinoza’s goal with 57 seconds left pulled the Taft College women’s soccer team into into a 1-1 tie with state No. 1 Fresno City College Tuesday afternoon in a crucial Central Valley Conference match.

The tie keeps the Cougars even with the Rams at the top of the conference with 2-0-1 records heading into the final three CVC skirmishes.

“We played awesome,” said head coach Myisha Cutrona.  “It was a physical game, and we scored the only legitimate goal.”

Fresno scored a controversial goal late in the second half off a corner kick that bounced off the post.

“One of our defenders – Leilani Ponce – smothered it on the line,” Cutrona said.  “The referee stopped play because we had an injured player.  Then the officials got together and awarded Fresno a goal.”

Instead of getting mad the Cougars got even.

“I think that really inspired us,” Cutrona said.  “We pushed numbers forward and Selina (Chacon) sent a crossing pass that Joanna put away.

“You should have seen the celebration.  It felt so good, especially because they have fans that are so antagonizing.”

The Cougars also defended well on another corner kick.

“Fresno had two very dangerous corner kicks but we defended them very well, even though they were given a goal on one of them.”

For Espinoza, it was her 22nd goal of the season, which ranks her third in the state.

The Cougars will try to keep the momentum going today when they host College of the Sequoias (1-2-0 CVC, 7-8-1 overall) at 1 p.m. on the San Emidio Street field.

That will leave just two matches left: at West Hills-Lemoore Nov. 12 and a return engagement with Fresno at home on Nov. 15 to finish off the regular season.  State playoffs begin Nov. 23.

“Right now we have to keep our focus on finishing strong beginning with COS,” Cutrona said.  “Our girls have been busy this week with campus Halloween activities, but we can’t let those distractions affect our game.  We talked about that at practice.”

In the latest state power rankings Fresno is No. 1 in the state and northern California while the Cougars were ranked 25th in the state and 11th in NorCal.

The tie with Fresno on the Rams’ home field will earn the Cougars some power points.  When the two meet here in the regular season finale it will likely decide the conference title and home field advantage in the playoffs.

Espinoza Scores 5 Goals as Cougar Women Romp
by Dennis McCall
Taft Midway Driller
October 28, 2013

Joanna Espinoza had five goals in the first half Friday as the Cougars routed hopelessly outgunned Cerro Coso College from Ridgecrest 13-0 in a non-conference women’s soccer match.

The Cougars scored quickly and often, rolling out to an 11-0 halftime lead before turning it over to the bench.

In fact, head coach Myisha Cutrona began subbing midway through the first half.

“This is their first year having a team,” she said of the visitors.  “The coach found out at the last minute that he would be coaching soccer.”

Cerro Coso had just 12 players – 11 on the field and one designated to operate the video camera.  Two of the players were borrowed from the basketball team.

The Coyotes have not won a game and have been outscored 129 to 1.

“They were really bad defensively so it was more like a practice for us,” Cutrona said.  “I felt bad for that coach.  It was a struggle to keep the score down.  We had a lot of breakaways.  In the second half I told the girls to only try to score on crossing plays or headers.

“You know they want to score when they get in a game, so it’s difficult for them.”

Espinoza, who is the third leading scorer in the state with 21 goals, played only the first half as Cutrona gave her bench considerable playing time.”

The game had to serve as a tune-up for today’s critical road match with powerhouse Fresno City College.

“I hope my girls are ready,” Cutrona said.  “We’ve got to really focus on defending and communicating.”

Fresno (13-1-2 overall, 2-0-0 in the CVC) is ranked No. 1 in northern California and No. 10 in the state.  The Cougars (11-3-2, 2-0-0 CVC) are 13th in the latest NorCal rankings and 19th in the state.

The Rams are one of the best defensive teams in the state, giving up just six goals in their 16 games.  They have scored 64 goals.  TC has outscored its opponents 51-18.

With Espinoza leading the way against Cerro Coso with her five goals and three assists, Amanda Lopez had three goals and three assists.

The other goals were scored by Cristina Salazar, Leslie Tostado Leilani Ponce, Victoria Escobar and Emily Galland.

Salazar had four assists and Selina Chacon, Lopez and Escobar one each.

Hanna Tovar and Marissa Alcala divided the goalkeeping chores but Cerro Coso did not have a single shot on goal.  TC had 17 and made 13 of them count.

Cougars Women Take Aim on Conference Crown
by Dennis McCall
Taft Midway Driller
October 24, 2013

Joanna Espinoza’s hat trick guided the Taft College women’s soccer team to a 4-1 victory over West Hills-Lemoore here Tuesday that launched a drive the Cougars hope will take them to Central Valley Conference crown.

Espinoza, who is the leading scorer in the CVC and ranks seventh in the state, had two assisted goals and one on her own when she caught Golden Eagle goalkeeper Vanessa Diaz Melo out of the box and rifled a shot into the back of the net.

“She’s such a smart player,” head coach Myisha Cutrona said.  “That’s why she leads the conference in goals.”

Espinoza, a sophomore who played her high school soccer at Highland High in Bakersfield, has 16 goals on the season.

“She scored 16 last year and her goal this year is to do better than that,” Cutrona said.  “She has five games left to do that.”

Four of the five are conference outings, including two – a home and home – with perennial conference champion Fresno City College.

But before the Cougars plunge into the CVC home stretch they will polish their game today with a non-conference skirmish against Cerro Coso College of Ridgecrest on the home field.

TC should have an easy time.

The Coyotes are winless in nine tries and have been outscored 116-1, including a 24-1 loss to No. 3 ranked Chaffey.  TC, currently ranked 10th in northern California, battled Chaffey to a scoreless tie.

Cutrona will be able to rest players who are nursing injuries.

“We have a lot of starters who are injured,” she said, “including a couple probably out for the rest of the season.”

She’s counting on some of the wounded to be ready to go next Tuesday.

That’s when the Cougars travel to Fresno for the first of two crucial games with the Rams, who are ranked No. 9 in the state and No. 4 in northern California.  The second meeting will wrap up the regular season in Taft on Nov. 15.  Playoffs start Nov. 23.

“It’s a huge challenge for us,” Cutrona said.  “Fresno is the real deal.”
In the win against West Hills, the Cougars struck quickly when Espinoza took a pass from midfielder Selina Chacon for the first of her three goals.

Espinoza made it 2-0 when she faked out the Golden Eagle defenders for the unassisted goal.

That’s the way it stayed until five minutes into the second half when West Hills scored its only goal to cut the lead to one.

Cougars Are Currently 9-3-1 on the Season
by Dennis McCall
Taft Midway Driller
October 21, 2013

Taft College will host a pair of women’s soccer games this week – a Central Valley Conference skirmish today and a non-conference tussle on Friday. Both start at 1 p.m. on the San Emidio Street field. TC will take its 9-3-1 record into this week’s action against West Hills-Lemoore today and Cerro Coso of Ridgecrest on Friday.

The Cougars hope to shake off a disappointing 2-4 loss to Santa Barbara City College on Saturday. The Gauchos have handed the Cougars two of their three losses. “It was a little frustrating,” said head coach Myisha Cutrona. “We made some defensive mistakes and they capitalized on them.”

TC jumped out to a quick lead when Joanna Espinoza sent a crossing pass to Mandy Lopez for the first score, but SBCC sophomore forward Brandie Harris scored the first of her three goals to tie it. The Cougars edged ahead on a goal by Joanna Espinoza off an assist from Cristina Salazar, but Harris again twice exploited the TC defense for a pair of goals that put the Gauchos ahead for good.

“She (Harris) took on our defense all by herself,” Cutrona said. “We didn’t do a very good job of staying on her.

On the third goal our goalie made a mistake. She came out and completely missed the ball.”With SBCC leading 3-2 at the break, the Cougars came out aggressive in the second half.

“We came out pounding the ball in the second half but just couldn’t finish,” Cutrona said. SBCC got its final goal in the second half on a free kick. “We didn’t set up our wall very well. The kick came in low and our goalie was screened off.”

The Cougars were missing their starting defenders, who are out with injuries. “We have a lot of work to do on defense to shore things up,” Cutrona said.

After Friday’s non-conference game with Cerro Coso, the Cougars have four consecutive conference matches to finish out the regular season. Cutrona is confident her team will be in the playoffs, and she wants to finish strong in order to host a first-round game.

Cougars Defeat College of the Sequoias 6-1
by Dennis McCall
Taft Midway Driller
October 14, 2013

Taft College’s women’s soccer team continues to roll along toward its best season in the short history of the program.

The Cougars opened Central Valley Conference action Friday in Visalia with a 6-1 victory over College of the Sequoias.

TC is 8-2-1 overall and ranked 10th in northern California.

Sophomore midfielder Joanna Espinoza led the charge with two goals and an assist.

She started the scoring with a goal in the 15th minute after taking a pass from freshman forward Celia Rangel.

Leilani Ponce, a sophomore forward from Taft High, got the second goal just three minutes later with Espinoza getting the assist.

It took the Cougars another three minutes before they made it 3-0 on a goal by Rangel on an assist from Cristina Salazar.  It was Rangel’s fifth goal of the season.

That was the score at the half.

The Cougars got their fourth score at the 58th minute.  This time Salazar drove a shot into the net with Rangel getting the assist.

In the 65th minute it was Salazar providing the pass to Espinoza for her second goal and ninth of the season.  She leads conference teams in scoring.

The final Cougar goal came in the 84th minute when Victoria Escobar, a freshman forward, scored on a pass from Kaylnn Talalotu-Kealoha.

Starting Cougar goalkeeper Marissa Alcala had three saves in her 77 minutes in the net while Hannah Tovar had four over the final 13 minutes.

The Cougars return to non-conference action this week, traveling to Santa Maria for a match at Allan Hancock College and then hosting Santa Barbara City College Saturday at 2 p.m.

Women's Soccer Takes on Chaffey College and Moorpark College
vs Chaffey: Tie 0-0
vs Moorpark: W 4-2
by Kevin Lundy
October 8, 2013

The Taft College women began a difficult week with a hard fought 0-0 draw away to a perfect Chaffey Community College (8-0-1). The lady Cougars were led by goalkeeper Marissa Alcala who earned her second shutout of the season.

The lady Cougars (7-2-1) then won a difficult away fixture on Friday at Moorpark Community College (1-2-5), that saw 6 first half goals in a windy affair. Celia Rangel opened the scoring for Taft, deftly touching past the Moorpark goalkeeper after Victoria Escobar had put her through alone on goal. The lead grew shortly after Joanna Espinoza headed home on a swinging corner kick from Selina Chacon. Espinoza then turned provider, finding Becky Vasquez at the top of the box for a sweet bending strike to the top shelf for a 3-0 lead. Two quick strikes from Moorpark against the run of play and wind, brought the match to 3-2. TC responded with another goal from Celia Rangel. Christina Salazar did well to beat a couple defenders and send in a low cross for Rangel to neatly tuck far post. The second half saw both teams find only a couple half chances each, and finish 4-2.

The lady Cougars open conference play on Friday, October 11, away to College of the Sequoias.

TC Women's Soccer Defeats Moorpark College
by Dennis McCall
Taft Midway Driller
October 7, 2013

The Cougar women, defeated Moorpark College 4-2 Friday. Details were not available.  The team travels to Visalia Friday to open Central Valley Conference play against College of the Sequoias.

Women Tie Chaffey

October 1, 2013

Chaffey College remained undefeated but has one small blemish on the record after Taft College battled the Panthers to a scoreless tie Tuesday in Rancho Cucamonga.

Goalkeeper Marissa Alcala, a freshman from Frontier High in Bakersfield, had 10 saves in goal for the Cougars.

In the Sept. 18 polls, Chaffey was ranked seventh in the state and fifth in southern California while the Cougars, off to their best start ever, are ranked 11th in the NorCal poll.

TC is on the road again today for a non-conference match at Moorpark College and will open Central Valley Conference play a week later against College of the Sequoias in Visalia.

Then the Cougars will hit a more friendly part of the schedule when they play five of their last seven matches at home.  They play nine of their first 12 on the road.

TC is 6-2-1 so far in non-conference matches with one to go.

Defending conference kingpin Fresno is 7-1-2, West Hills-Lemoore is 4-2-2 and Sequoias 6-4-2.

Women Defeat Rio Hondo
by Dennis McCall
Taft Midway Driller
September 30, 2013

The Cougar are on the road today for a non-conference match at Chaffey College in Rancho Cucamonga.  They defeated Rio Hondo 1-0 here Friday to improve their record to 6-2-0.  Details were not available.  TC is ranked 11th in northern California.

Defending champion Fresno, ranked 10th in the state and 4th in NorCal, again leads the pack with a 7-1-2 record.  West Hills in 4-2-2 and Sequoias 6-5-1 so an interesting conference race is shaping up.

Cougar Women Post Victory
by Dennis McCall
Taft Midway Driller
September 26, 2013

It took the Cougar women a while to get warmed up during their match against Cuesta in San Luis Obispo but when they did it was a blur.

"We didn't score until the 73rd minute," head coach Myisha Cutrona said. "But when we got going it was just goal after goal after goal after goal."

After Christina Salazar knocked in a ricochet off a Joanna Espinoza shot the Cougars went on a spree.

"After that goal we scored again in the 79th minute, the 81st minute and the 83rd minute," Cutrona said.

The scoring spree was a relief.

"I don't know what it is, but it takes us so long to get going. It's driving me crazy. I told them we can't do that against really good teams, that it's going to hurt us."

Late Goal Gives Cougar Soccer Team a Victory
by Dennis McCall
Taft Midway Driller
September 23, 2013

Leading scorer Joanna Espinoza took a pass from Amanda Lopez and scored the only goal of the match on a header Friday that gave Taft College a 1-0 victory over visiting El Camino College.

Espinoza, a sophomore co-captain, drilled in her fifth goal of the season in the 84th minute to push the Cougars to 5-1 on the season heading into today’s non-conference match in San Luis Obispo against Cuesta College.

Taft controlled the tempo in the first half and had a solid edge in possession time but neither the Cougars nor Warriors were able to make a serious assault on the goal.

The teams went back-and-forth through much of the second half before the Cougars regained the offensive.

A foul that resulted in a free kick in the middle of the field about 20 yards from the El Camino goal clicked for the Cougars.

The kick drifted to Lopez who sent a clean pass to Espinoza coming in from the left side for the perfect header.  It was Lopez’s third assist of the season.

Cougar goalkeeper Lizette Gomez recorded three saves, giving her 23 on the seasons.

After today’s tussle on the central coast the Cougars will return home Friday to host Rio Hondo College at 1 p.m. on the San Emidio Street field.

With their 5-1 record, the Cougars are setting the pace among Central Valley Conference teams.  Defending champion Fresno City College is 5-1-3, West Hills-Lemoore 2-2-2 and College of the Sequoias 2-5-2.

Despite getting off to the best start in the program’s six-year history, the Cougars have struggled to put the ball in the net.  They had 17 shots on goal against El Camino.

Cougar Women's Soccer Loses
by Dennis McCall
Taft Midway Driller
September 19, 2013

College of the Canyons (3-1-2) scored three goals in the first half and held off a Taft College comeback in a 3-2 non-conference victory over Cougars (3-2-0).

It was TC’s second consecutive loss after opening the season 3-0.

Sophomore midfielder Joanna Espinoza scored both Cougar goals. 

Freshman midfielder Emily Galland got an assist and goalkeeper Lizette Gomez, a freshman from Shafter, recorded two saves in the Cougar net.

TC will try to get back on the winning track today when the Cougars host El Camino College in a 1 o’clock game on the San Emidio Street field.  The team travels to San Luis Obispo next Tuesday to take on Cuesta College.

TC Women's Soccer Team off to Hot Start
by Dennis McCall
Taft Midway Driller
September 9, 2013

A five-goal performance from sophomore Joanna Espinoza guided the Taft College women’s soccer team to the championship in last weekend’s Hartnell College tournament in Salinas.

The Cougars pushed their early season record to 3-0 by defeating Shasta 2-1 and Cabrillo 7-3.

“It was a very good weekend for us,” said head coach Myisha Cutrona.  “I’m really excited.  We are 3-0 right now and are definitely playing very well.  We have so much talent and a great attitude.  That was a great trip for us, and the team really bonded.”

The Cougars got off to a slow start in the opener on Friday against Shasta, falling behind 1-0 in the first half.

But in the 57th minute Cristina Salazar scored the tying goal on a pass from Mandy Lopez and eight minutes later Espinoza put away what proved to be the winning goal – also on a pass from Lopez.

Cutrona said the Cougars got a defensive scare when sophomore Daisy Guitron went down with an injury and she had to juggle the lineup.

“She is one of our star players and such a dominating force on defense,” she said.  “I put Saida Sandoval in the back and she did a tremendous job.”

The Cougars thought they had a third goal but it was waived off on an offside call.

“The video clearly shows it wasn’t even close to being offside so we should have had a third goal,” she said.
Once again, as they did in winning their season opener against Allan Hancock, the Cougars came out a little sluggish and had trouble finding the net.

“We came out flat in the first half but came out on fire in the second half.”

Goalkeeper Lizette Gomez had three saves.

In Saturday’s match with Cabrillo, who blanked Shasta 3-0, the Cougars ran up against a bigger, more physical team.
After spotting the Seahawks a quick 2-0 lead the Cougars surged back to draw even at the break on goals by Espinoza in the 17th and 28th minutes with Salazar and Lopez getting credit for the assists.

TC scored in the first minute of the second half, but Cabrillo got a free kick goal to knot it again 3-3.

Espinoza found the net again on a pass from Salazar, Victoria Escobar scored off an assist from Selina Molina, Espinoza teamed up with Molina for TC’s fifth goal, got the sixth off an assist from Lopez and the seventh came on a free kick from Emily Galland.