Women’s Soccer: Roadrunners Mauled by Panthers in Regular Season Finale

Christian Salinas, Reporter

Friday, Nov. 9, the Rio Hondo Roadrunners women’s soccer team traveled to Chaffey College to take on the Panthers for the second time this season.  Rio previously lost to Chaffey and were looking to exact revenge this time.

It was the last game of the regular season and the Roadrunners wanted to end on a high note. Unfortunately, they were unable to capture their 12th victory and fell to the Panthers 2-1.

The Roadrunners were trying to spoil Chaffey’s Sophomore day, but it was to no avail as the offense didn’t get anything started until it was too late.

The ball spent most of its time in Rio’s end as the Panthers were executing early.  The Roadrunners seem to lack some drive in the beginning of the game which cost them overall.  Jennifer Tanaka, the Roadrunners head coach, said postgame that “we need to play more  determined and battle harder.”

They played solid defense but with the Panthers controlling the time of possession and keeping the ball away from Rio, their defense could only hold up for so long as the Panthers got more chances at the net in the first.

Sophomore goalkeeper Izellia Delgadillo made a phenomenal save early and sophomore Flor Suarez actually saved a goal on a put back and kept the score tied.  Karina Banda, a sophomore defenseman, played inspiring defense as she was putting her body on the line and laying out to keep the Panthers out of the net.

As hard as Rio’s defense played, it just wasn’t enough.  Angel Garcia, a freshman forward for the Panthers, broke through in the first as she scored on a cross.  Down 1-0 in the first, Rio needed their offense to finally step up.

They had a few chances towards the latter part of the first but were eventually shutout in the first half. As the game got wore on, so did the intensity and physicality. It eventually turned into chippiness as there were some questionable calls from the referees. Most of the calls were in Chaffe   y’s favor as the Roadrunners got two cards. A yellow on the goalkeeper, and a red for assistant coach Will Lopez.

When Chaffey went up 2-0 early in the second on a goal from freshman defenseman Ivy Vollaire, Rio was in panic mode. But after Marissa Morales got tripped in the box, things were starting to look up for Rio as they were awarded a penalty kick.  Viviana Ramirez, a freshman defenseman, was tasked to take the shot.  When it hit the left post and failed to go in, it was the beginning of the end for Rio.

Freshman midfielder Jacqueline Gonzalez was finally able to break through for Rio as she scored their first goal of the game to make it 2-1. Time wore on but the Roadrunners couldn’t equalize. They were not able to complete the comeback losing their third game of the season.  That loss should have playoff implications in terms of seeding.  However, on Tuesday, Nov. 13, there is a state seeding meeting.  As of right now, with the standings in the CCCAA, the game should be on Saturday, Nov. 17 and the time is to be determined.

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