SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -- Westmont Women's Soccer (7-1-1, 1-0-1 GSAC), ranked at No. 4 in the NAIA, outshot the Oaks of Menlo (4-2-2, 0-1-1) by a 23-11 margin on Saturday afternoon at Thorrington Field and held an 11-5 advantage of shots on goal. However, shot attempts, on goal or otherwise, do not win games - goals do. In this case, neither team emerged with a victory, settling instead for a 1-1 tie after two periods of overtime.
"The only thing we needed to fix in that match was our ability to capitalize on the opportunities we created," said Westmont head coach Chantel Cappuccilli. "We had a few opportunities in front of goal, but we weren't able to pull off those moments."
Menlo struck first, scoring in the 41st minute. Taking a free kick from 10 yards shy of the midfield stripe, Mercedes Beckham sent a ball diagonally across the field that bounced once and found Caitlyn Sorensen at the top of the six-yard box. Sorenson one-touched the ball into the net for the goal.
The Oaks' lead did not last long as Bri Johnson recorded the equalizer just three minutes later. Just beyond the midfield stripe, Ariel Johnston threw in the ball to Gracye DeGroot who booted it back to Alanna Richards at midfield. Richards returned the ball to DeGroot who turned and sent the ball down the field on the right side.
Johnson, who was racing down the field, got past three Oaks defenders and tracked down the ball at the top of the 18. Johnson took one touch to put the ball past the Oaks keeper who was charging at it from the goal. The ball travelled along the ground through an empty penalty box to reach the left side netting.
I'm glad we responded to Menlo's goal," said Cappuccilli. "I think we had a lot of good responses to how the game went, but at the end of the day, you have to turn the opportunities into reward. That was our struggle.
"We did what we needed to on the defensive end of things after we were scored on to remain in the game. However, just as much as you want to keep the ball out of the net, you also have to score goals and that didn't come off for us today.
"It is a valuable lesson that we can learn from. I'm glad it happened early in our conference play and not down the road. I think we can take what we witnessed in this game and apply it to the next and throughout our time in the GSAC."
Next up for the Warriors is a road-trip to Arizona and San Diego. On Thursday, Westmont will take on the Firestorm of Arizona Christian. Then on Saturday, Westmont will play San Diego Christian at Cuyamaca Community College in El Cajon.