Taft College Cougars Women's Soccer

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Simplicity Helps TC Women End Soccer Victory Drought
by Dennis McCall
Taft Midway Driller

October 8, 2012

Taft -- Getting back to simpler times helped the Taft College women’s soccer team end a month-long victory drought. “We went back to our original formation and it worked,” said head coach Myisha Cutrona after her young, injury-riddled team’s 2-0 non-conference win Friday at home over Moorpark College.

“We decided to simplify things,” she said.  “We had a better game plan that was simpler because we all got on the same page.”

It’s been an uphill struggle for the depth-challenged Cougars, who have been hit hard by injuries to key players. “We were missing three players because of injuries,” she said.  “We had only 14 players available on Friday, and we had two more go down with concussions.  The good news is we will get two of our injured players back for today’s game.”

They’ll need all hands on deck for that one.

TC travels to Rancho Cucamonga to take on Southern California powerhouse Chaffey College, a team coached by Cutrona’s sister-in-law.

Chaffey (9-1-2) is ranked fifth in the state and No. 2 in Southern California.

“They are very talented,” she said.  “They have so many experienced players who play club soccer year-round.  We plan to stick to our simplified game plan.  I think we’ll use it the rest of the season."

Joanna Espinoza scored the first goal against Moorpark after taking a corner kick from Mandy Lopez.

Brittany Hernandez scored the other goal on a pass from Daisy Guitron.

Goalkeeper Lucero Villa had four saves.  She ranks 16th in the state among goalies.
Cutrona gave her player of the game nod to sophomore midfielder Kathy Lopez, a Taft High product. “She played in the middle on the left side and Moorpark just couldn’t penetrate on her side.  “Kathy was definitely the key to our defensive success.”
Friday’s victory was the first since Sept. 8 when the Cougars beat Butte College in Oroville.

Since then, they lost four in a row and battled to a tie.

The Cougars are 4-5-2.

The Chaffey match is the final Central Valley Conference tune-up.  TC will host College of the Sequoias on Friday to kick off conference action.

Cougar Women's Soccer Lose
by Matthew Henry
Taft Midway Driller

September 22, 2011

A missed opportunity on a late penalty kick that misfired cost the Cougar women a chance to tie Mt. San Antonio Tuesday on the home field as the Mounties squeaked out a 2-1 win.

Sophomore midfielder Carmen Vasquez was unable to score on a penalty kick that would have pulled the Cougars into a tie with 13 minutes left. Cassandra Arroyo scored the lone Cougar goal on an assist from Joanne Almaguer. Cougar coach Myisha Cutrona said both teams were flat in the first half, which Mt. SAC led 1-0. “I just told them to relax coming out for the second half,” she said.  “We outplayed them in the second half but were unable to finish opportunities. 

I thought that was the best we’ve played all season. They were composed and communicated.  If they had done that for the full 90 minutes the outcome would have been different.” She was upset that her team didn’t get a penalty kick on what she called “a flagrant foul” by the Mt. SAC goalie. “It should have been a red card according to the (rule) book, but he didn’t even call a foul,” she said.  “He completely missed it.  A bad call shouldn’t make a difference.”

She also thought a linesman didn’t properly interpret the offside rule.“He didn’t understand that it’s where the players are when the ball is kicked,” she said.  “He called us for offside five times when there shouldn’t have been a call.”

The Cougar women are in Norwalk today to take on Cerritos College.

Taft College Women's Soccer Team Loses to Powerhouse
by Dennis McCall
Taft Midway Driller

September 19, 2011

Taft, Calif. —
Both of Taft College’s soccer teams ran into state powerhouses last Friday. And both were shut out.

The Cougar women dropped a 2-0 decision to Chaffey College in Rancho Cucamonga.

Chaffey improved its record to 6-1-0 while the Cougars dropped to 1-3 heading into today’s home non-conference game against Mt. San Antonio College. On Friday, the Cougars will travel to Norwalk to take on Cerritos College.

Cougar Women Notch First Soccer Victory
by Dennis McCall
Taft Midway Driller

September 15, 2011

Taft, Calif. —
Taft High product Kathy Lopez scored two goals Tuesday to lead the Taft College women’s soccer team to its first victory of the season.

The Cougars got off to a fast start, got a little rattled when visiting Allan Hancock College of Santa Maria claimed momentum in the second half, but clinched it with Lopez’s late goal for a 4-2 victory.

“It was a good to get a win under our belt,” said head coach Myisha Cutrona, whose team improves to 1-2-0 heading into today’s non-conference game in Rancho Cucamonga against Chaffey College.

“We started off well, but in the second half when they grabbed the momentum we panicked.  Our inexperience showed, but Kathy Lopez plays smart even though she’s a freshman.”

Lopez took a pass from sophomore defender Emily Ragasa, sprinted by a Hancock defender and scored the clinching goal in the 88th minute.

“Kathy does such a nice job of putting herself in a position to score,” Cutrona said. That gave the Cougars a sigh of relief after the undefeated Bulldogs’ second half surge.

“Their comeback caused us to go back to those old bad habits instead of playing as a team and maintaining our composure,” Cutrona said.  “We just got away from what we learned in practice.”

TC’s other goals were scored by Lesli Aviles and former Wildcat Joanne Almaguer.  Ragasa had the assist on Aviles’ goal while Randi Presas and Brenda Becerra got credit for the other assists.

Jessica Sanchez, coming off an injury, worked the goal for the Cougars and had four saves.

“She made some great saves,” Cutrona said.

TC Soccer Roundup: Women Tie, Men Win
by Dennis McCall
Taft Midway Driller

October 18, 2010

Ties aren’t something teams usually crow about, but for the Taft College women’s soccer team it translates to a moral victory and, perhaps, a catalyst for the rest of the season. The Cougars battled Fresno City College – the No. 2 team in northern California and No. 3 in the state – to a scoreless standoff Friday in Taft before the men’s team scored a 3-0 victory over College of the Sequoias. The win by the Cougar women evens their Central Valley Conference record at 1-1-1 (4-7-2 overall) and marks the first time TC has tied Fresno. The Rams (1-1 CVC, 10-2-2 overall) have won all of the previous meetings. “I’m just very proud of our team,” said head coach Myisha Cutrona. “This is the best heart that they’ve shown all year. It was a huge moral victory. I told them afterward that they earned the respect of the coaches.”

The Cougars have struggled with a freshman-dominated team that has been hit hard by the injury bug. “We had only 13 players, but I thought we did extremely well considering the situation with out injuries,” Cutrona said. The key against the high-powered Rams was a change in the game plan, she said. “We used a different formation. I just told them what the game plan was, and this is the first time they all were on the same page. Our sophomores, Maria Ibarra and Olivia Gonzales, really stepped up.” Cutrona moved Gonzales to the right back attacking position, and it paid off. “She had been struggling as a forward. She’s one of our better defenders and seems to play better when she has everything in front of her.” Freshman midfielder Carmen Velasquez from Wasco also played a key role. “She was our sweeper and did a great job,” Cutrona said. “She kept communicating, and that was key. She didn’t let us have any defensive breakdowns, and we’ve struggled with that in the past.” Goalkeeper Eloisa Lopez also had a big day, shutting out a Fresno team that had scored 20 goals in its last five games and has outscored opponents 34-4 on the season. She had nine saves. “She really had some key saves for us,” the coach said.

Men blank Sequoias

The Cougar men, meanwhile, used a strong second half to shut out COS 3-0 in a game head coach Angelo Cutrona hopes will signal a turnaround for his struggling team. “We definitely had a better second half,” he said, when the Cougars scored twice after leading 1-0 at the break. TC had been struggling in the second half all season. “We made a few adjustments at halftime and something seemed to click,” he said. One of the individual bright spots was Ruben Barraza, a freshman forward from Bakersfield High. “He really turned it up,” Cutrona said. “I know he has a nose for the goal.” Barraza scored a goal and had an assist.

“The big difference in the second half was that we were more aggressive going forward,” Cutrona said. “That created a lot more chances for us. Cameron Giles and Roberto Mariscal really showed their speed and power game.” Giles scored a goal and Mariscal had an assist. Gerardo Santiago had the other Cougar goal. Goalkeeper Emilio Miranda had four saves The Cougars (1-2-0 CVC, 5-5-3 overall) host West Hills-Lemoore (2-0-1, 6-4-3) Friday afternoon at 3 in a crucial Central Valley Conference game. West Hills defeated the Cougars 2-1 in Lemoore in a first-round game. “I know we can beat them,” Cutrona said. “I think we’re going to have a little more motivation this time.”

Student-Athlete Spotlight:

M_IbarraName: Maria Ibarra
Sport: Soccer
Class: Sophomore

Maria leads the team in goals and has been the most explosive attacker on the team. She is well-respected by her teammates as well as her coaches and plans to continue at the next level.

Cougar Soccer Teams Prepare for Conference Action
by Dennis McCall
Taft Midway Driller

September 27, 2010

The Taft College men’s soccer team continues to struggle offensively as the Cougars head into their Central Valley Conference opener Friday at West Hills-Lemoore. Taft enters conference play with an uncharacteristic 2-3-3 record, but more importantly, has had little success putting the ball into the net. That was reflected again last Friday when the Cougars missed scoring opportunities and had to settle for a 1-1 tie at home against Moorpark College. “We’re struggling pretty badly right now,” said head coach Angelo Cutrona. “We could have controlled the tempo and rhythm of the game, but we didn’t. Their team took only two shots on goal and we weren’t much better with five or six.” The Cougars scored first to take a 1-0 halftime lead 25 minutes into the game on a goal by Roberto Mariscal.
The teams struggled back and forth until, with 10 minutes remaining, Moorpark scored on a free kick. “We thought it was a bogus obstruction call,” Cutrona said. “They hit a tremendous kick into the upper corner of the net. It was just a rocket. But, we still had our chances. We had one shot that hit the cross-bar.”

Cutrona said his team will continue to work on developing more continuity on the field. “Our guys are very young. They don’t understand putting a team away. We need to make our guys understand the importance of continuing to work as a team.” West Hills-Lemoore is 4-3-1 in non-conference games and will be looking to gain a measure of revenge on Friday. “We knocked them out of the playoffs last year, so they will be pumped up,” Cutrona said. “Our guys need to realize that every time we play we have a target on our backs.” The Cougars played for the state title last year. It was the third year out of the last four that TC has been to the final four.

The Cougar women, meanwhile, lost a 2-0 decision Friday at Chaffey College. The loss drops the Cougars to 2-4-1 while Chaffey improves to 6-1-2. TC has two weeks to prepare for the conference opener Oct. 8 against College of the Sequoias in Visalia.


TC Soccer: Women Romp, Men Play to Tie
by Dennis McCall
Taft Midway Driller

Posted September 3, 2010

Taft College had mixed results in its first home soccer action Tuesday afternoon when Los Angeles Mission College brought its teams to town. The Cougar women’s team breezed to a 7-0 shutout victory to improve its early season record to 2-1 while the men’s team played to a 2-all tie in its season opener. Freshman midfielder/forward Jessica Miller from Stockdale High in Bakersfield scored a hat trick with three goals and added an assist. Sophomore forward Maria Ibarra scored two goals and had two assists. Freshmen midfielder Cassandra Arroyo (Lancaster High) and Erica Gomez (Palmdale High) each had a goal and an assist, and sophomore midfielder/forward Olivia Gonzales had the other two assists. “Our defense played really well,” said head coach Myisha Cutrona. “We’ve worked really hard on defense first, and the rest will fall into place. “They started off strong and maintained that the whole game. Our back line was very organized.” She praised the work of freshman defender Clare Nissa (Lancaster High) as a major factor in the success of the defense.
Again, her lone sophomores – Ibarra and Gonzales – provided the core leadership. “They’ve been our strength on the field and continued that,” Cutrona said.
Eloisa Lopez (Lancaster) and Caitlin Nicholas (Centennial) shared goalkeeper duties. Each had a save.

In the men’s game, the Cougars had a 2-1 lead until the 77th minute when L.A. Mission scored on a hard shot from the right side that barely eluded Cougar goalkeeper Emilio Miranda. Ruben Barraza and Angel Garcia scored goals for the Cougars with Alberto Garcia and Saul Valencia each getting an assist. The Cougar women are at the Cuesta College tournament in San Luis Obispo today and will play Lassen tomorrow.
The men’s team is in Orange County today playing Fullerton College. Both teams will host Santa Barbara City College next Friday (Sept. 10).

Cougar Women Split Soccer Opener in Oxnard Tournament
by Dennis McCall
Taft Midway Driller

Posted August 30, 2010

A very young Taft College women’s soccer team has a lot of work to do as the season gets underway. That was the assessment of head coach Myisha Cutrona after the Cougars split their two matches in last weekend’s Oxnard College tournament. The Cougars opened the tournament Saturday with a 1-0 loss to two-time (2007-8) state champion Cerritos and bounced back on Sunday with a 3-2 victory over Sacramento City College. Both the women and men are in action today, hosting Los Angeles Mission College on the Tenth and San Emidio field.
“Our first game wasn’t bad,” Cutrona said. “Holding Cerritos to just one goal is not easy. They beat Antelope Valley 5-0. Our goalie (freshman Eloisa Lopez) was really busy, though.” She had 18 saves.

In the win over Sacramento, the Cougars played tired, the coach said. “We were really fatigued from the day before, but we pulled it off.” That may continue to be the team’s biggest obstacle in the early going, Cutrona said. “We only have two sophomores, so we are starting mostly freshmen. They are still playing at the speed of high school, so they are finding out how much faster college soccer is. “We still need a lot of work, but that’s what the pre-season is for. Right now I think we are solid, but just need more work.”
Her two sophomores carried the load last weekend.

Maria Ibarra scored two of the Cougar goals in the victory with Olivia Gonzales getting the other. Cassandra Arroyo, Stephanie Rico and keeper Lopez got the assists. It’s rare for a goalie to record an assist. “She punted the ball and we got a break-away,” Cutrona said. After hosting Mission today, the Cougars will play three consecutive games at Cuesta College: Saddleback on Friday, Lassen on Saturday and Cuesta next Tuesday. The next home outing will be Sept. 10 when Santa Barbara City College comes to town. The men, meanwhile, travel south to play Fullerton on Friday, then head for Valencia next Tuesday to play College of the Canyons. The men will join the women’s team Sept. 10 in hosting Santa Barbara.