COSTA MESA, Calif. – Vanguard Athletic Director Bob Wilson gave a relevant lecture in the Athletics Character Class on Friday morning. He spoke about different types of teams, the manner in which they come together and how chemistry can transform a physically talented team from good to great. Wilson emphasized that a capable squad with solidity has the potential to make a lasting impact and become a legacy on and off the pitch.
Every time the 2012 Vanguard women play, it is evident that they have found the secret component behind Wilson's assertion. The team repeatedly refers to itself as a family and has managed to remain humble though it has broken records and accomplished feats that no other V squad has realized. This year's Lions are playing for something more than wins. Ironically, that passion and love for each other manifests itself in victory over and over again.
Friday's Golden State Athletic Conference tournament semifinal was no exception, as the cohesive Blue and Gold team shutout The Master's College 2-0 on the VU Soccer Field.
Junior Jordan Davidson (Tucson, Ariz.), who was present for Wilson's lecture, gave Vanguard a 1-0 advantage at the 13:31 mark. Senior Amanda Couch (Fair Oaks, Calif.) booted a great ball to the middle, forcing The Master's goaltender Ilyssa Espiritu to make a decision. She opted to come out for the challenge, which the nimble Davidson accepted and won to net her 15th goal of the year. Couch garnered her team-leading 11th assist on the play.
"I couldn't do anything without my teammates," Davidson said. "I am truly blessed with what my team has accomplished this year, and how they have helped me to reach my individual goals."
Junior Kayla Arenas (Fullerton, Calif.) singlehandedly put the Lions up by a pair when she rebounded a shot by Davidson and blasted a ball past Espiritu to notch her ninth goal of the season in the 38th minute of play.
The Pride's second-year goalkeeper, Lauren Terry (Corona, Calif.) posted four saves in the match en route to her seventh shutout of the season. Terry went undefeated in conference matches (10-0) and has 34 total stops for VU.
Vanguard has outscored 2012 competitors 55-6 on the year. The Lions (15-2 overall), who boast an 11-game winning streak, have not allowed a goal since October 13th at Biola.
"This was a good result against a good team," Director of Soccer Randy Dodge said. "We came together quickly to deal with the loss of one of our senior leaders, Lauren Evans, who was hospitalized this morning. Makenna Yarbor really stepped up and did a great job for us in the back. We have two more home games before our trip to Alabama and our goal is to win them both. We have fantastic team chemistry and great senior leadership on this team, but what people don't realize is that we play seven or eight underclassmen regularly."
The Vanguard backline of junior Megan Hill (Walnut Creek, Calif.), sophomore Makenna Yarbor (Lakeside, Calif.), freshman Ashley McCutcheon (Aliso Viejo, Calif.) and freshman Angela Hook (Newbury Park, Calif.) worked hard to hold down the defense during senior Lauren Evans' (Aliso Viejo, Calif.) absence, who was greatly missed by her squad in the semifinal win.
The No. 5 Lions will host the GSAC Championship on Friday, November 9th at 2:00pm. Vanguard will face #3 seed Biola in the match.