Coming into today's game, No. 18-ranked Westmont Women's Soccer (3-0-1) knew that it had a big test in hosting one of the most successful women's soccer teams in recent history. The Warriors passed the test, defeating Lee (Tenn.) by a score of 3-2. Though they are now an NCAA Division II team, Lee (0-2) won the NAIA National Championship four straight years from 2008 through 2011.
"I am very proud of the team," said Westmont head coach Kristi Kiely. "We had a game plan that I thought they executed very well and then some. There were three beautiful goals; I thought some of the best I've seen."
The first goal came in the eighteenth minute after a handball by Lee gave the Warriors a free kick from one foot above the top of the box. Tiffany Dimaculangan's shot went to the right of a wall of six Lee defenders who were protecting the left post. The ball sailed past the outstretched arms of Lee's keeper Haley Gribler and into the right side of the net.
"Tiffany was fantastic today for us in the middle," noted Kiely. "She is very hard to control and contain. She showed up big today."
K.J. Hornibrook made it 2-0 less than two minutes before halftime. Picking up the ball on the left side ten yards past the midfield line, Hornibrook dribbled diagonally toward the left corner flag. Beating two Lee defenders, Hornibrook fired right-footed into the left side-netting.
"The official came up to me after the game and said that KJ's goal was one of the best he had ever seen," said Kiely. "It certainly was one of the best I have ever seen. It is so fun for her to get on the board. She is coming in off injuries, so it has taken her a while to get into games. I thought she definitely made a mark today."
Four minutes into the second half, Westmont made it a 3-0 lead. From 40 yards out, Christine Adams charged a Lee player with the ball and poked it free toward the center of the field. Hornibrook ran toward the loose ball and passed it ahead of Adams who was charging toward the goal. Adams pushed the ball ahead with her left foot, took two steps and fired with her right, placing the ball just inside the near post.
Kiely's pride in her team, however, was not limited to the offense.
"I thought Kaitlynn (Durham) did very well defending Ode Fulutudilu," praised Kiely.
A member of the South African national team, the 23-year-old Fulutudilu scored 12 goals and had 10 assists for the Flames last season. Due to Durham's efforts, however, she was barely a factor against the Warriors.
"Amanda Diesen may have had the best game of career today," offered Kiely. "Amanda was guarding Summer Lanter, an under-twenty U.S national team player, and she was still able to get into the attack. She was fantastic today."
"Structurally we were sound, everyone worked very hard and everyone stuck to the game plan," said Kiely. "However, we had a couple of mistakes at the end."
The two mistakes looked very similar and both resulted in goals by the Flames. In the fifty-ninth minute, Lee Rogers took a free kick from 35 yards up the left side line. The ball bounced once in front of the goal and into the net, untouched by any player.
In the final minute of play, Chloe Rader had another free kick from 23 yards up the left sideline. Her kick also bounced its way into the net without being touched.
"We don't train on Sundays, but we have a game Monday and so tomorrow, we will be working on defending free kicks," said Kiely.
Monday's game will be against Corban (Ore.) at Thorrington Field. Kick-off is scheduled for noon.