The Lady Cougars opened their 2017 campaign on the road with a 1-1 draw against Mendocino College. Down by one goal late in the second half, freshman Theresa Luboviski, scored a last minute goal to level the score and start the season off with a tie and undefeated.
Each player showcased courageous effort to overcome the intense heat of triple digit temperatures. With mandatory stoppages midway through each half, the players were able to avoid overheating and battle until the final whistle. Having conceded the go-ahead goal just moments before the end of the match, the players demonstrated their character and resiliency by pushing for an equalizer.
In the second road match, the Lady Cougars continued their positive start by battling from behind and picking up three points at West Hills College Lemoore. After going down early, the team overturned a halftime deficit to finish out the game strong with a 3-2 win. Sophomore Emily Upstone stood out as the attacking juggernaut, scoring three goals and earning her first collegiate hat-trick.
Freshman keeper Freja Magnussen put in another solid performance making eight saves and coming up big between the posts. With temperatures still soaring, the players dug deep to play with enthusiasm and determination to battle for their first win.
"In the end, game managemeneam was important in taking away any momentum of the opponent and keeping the ball as far away from our goal as possible, by the opponents corner flag," said Coach Imaan Kerchgani.
In their final road game of the opening week, a stout Folsom defense lead to one of the better score lines for the Lady Cougars, holding the undefeated Folsom Lake to under their season average, but falling 7-0.
"The result was important because of the improvement shown from the first half to the second," said Kerchgani.
The communication and cohesion during half-time proved vital, with the team's low defensive block containing the Folsom attack for over 25 minutes to start the second half, while only allowing two goals in the final 45 minutes of the match.
"This experience of defending against an elite side will strengthen and prepare us for the important matches coming up," added Kerchgani. "This counter attacking approach will be important as we continue to focus on ways to better transition into the attack."