Women's Soccer News: SeaLions Kick Off A Great Season Home Opener Defeating Claremont Stars
The San Diego SeaLions WPSL (Women's Premier Soccer League) defeat Claremont Stars 3-1 and start the 2011 season 2-0
|The WPSL SeaLions are proud to be San Diego's Women's Soccer Team
The San Diego SeaLions 2011 WPSL home season opener drew the largest crowd in recent SeaLion soccer history to Cathedral Catholic High School Sunday afternoon. San Diego Soccer fans packed the Manchester Stadium on June 5th, to cheer for their home team and the SeaLions thrilled those watching with their second consecutive win. San Diego snuffed the Stars 3-1, and captured another 3 points for the weekend giving the women's soccer team a 2-0 start in the WPSL Pac-South Division. The 4S Avengers GU8 team coached by Ave Williams came out to support their role models and meet Sammy, the SeaLions' friendly sealion.
The Claremont Stars came to San Diego off their 3-1 win on Saturday over the Los Al Vikings. The Claremont Stars started strong, quick to the ball, and were aggressive on the attack. The San Diego SeaLions spent the first half adjusting to Claremont’s style and looking for their rhythm. Head Coach Jen Lalor-Nielsen, former World Cup player on the U.S. National Women's team and also Director of Coaching for the San Diego Soccer Academy, felt her team started a bit slow, in part because of their season opener game the day before. Several of the starters on Sunday had just played in the game against Ajax on Saturday, and this seemed to contribute to a lack of power at the start.
SeaLions goalie Kaycee Gunion admitted starting off a little shaky after her shutout performance the day before, but held strong through the first half, denying any scoring opportunities by Claremont. The SeaLions strung together several strong chances toward the end of the half, but were not able to put the ball away.
The SeaLions came out strong in the second half, immediately challenging the Stars on the attack. CoCo Goodson received a ball on the right side and fired a shot past the Stars’ goalie at the 46 minute mark to give San Diego SeaLions the 1-0 lead. Less than ten minutes later, Goodson netted her second goal of the day. Claremont refused to go away quietly, however, and minutes later forward Sara Studer fired a shot that deflected off the boot of SeaLion defender Britney Bennett past goalkeeper Gunion to put the Stars within one goal. At the 75 minute mark, SeaLion midfielder Ashlin Yahr followed up her own blocked shot in front of the net and chipped the ball over the Stars’ keeper, sealing the 3-1 win for the SeaLions.
After the game, SeaLion coach Lalor-Nielsen admitted that her team seemed to lack energy at the start of the match, but was able to pull together toward the end of the first half. “I rewarded the players who started in the game yesterday and I started them again today. I feel there was a little bit of a fatigue factor beginning early on, and then we started dictating a little more of the play the last fifteen minutes of the first half.”
Although the team was unable to put away a goal in the first 45 minutes, it set the stage for a strong second half. The SeaLions made a few crucial changes that resulted in the quick goal. “Pretty much you put a goal in and that’s when things are going to open up a little bit more -- which is exactly what happened,” said Lalor-Nielsen, who also credited the supportive home crowd’s “passion, heart and energy.”
Top scorer of the game CoCo Goodson attributed the halftime pep talk by the SeaLions’ coaches for the turnaround. “At halftime Jen Lalor-Nielsen and Bo Nielsen, Assistant Coach were both saying we needed to come out with heart and energy and raise our level and competitiveness.” Fortunately for San Diego soccer fans, the message was received, and the SeaLions will enter week two of their season tied with the Orange County Waves with 2-0 records and 6 points each.
The San Diego SeaLions will face the Los Al Vikings away on Saturday, June 11, before returning for back-to-back home games against LA Premier on June 18, and the OC Waves on June 19.
The fans showed their appreciation for the home town win and greeted the SeaLions players on the field after the game. The San Diego soccer players were happy to meet, greet and sign autographs for their fans.
Photo Credit: Stephen Prendergast
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one of the oldest female soccer clubs in the USA. The WPSL is a sixty-plus team national women's soccer league with five conferences and is considered one of the top women's soccer leagues in the world. For more information, please email Amie Becker
The Women's Premier Soccer League WPSL is a 60-plus team national league for the Summer 2011 season and is the largest women's soccer league in the world. The league is sanctioned by the United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA) as an affiliate of the United States Soccer Federation (USSF). The WPSL's mission is to provide the highest level of soccer in our effort to: bring affordable & quality family entertainment to the community; display positive role models for our youth; while, being a stepping stone for aspiring professional & international-level players.