GLENDALE — After 90 minutes of play, the Glendale Community College women's soccer team finished its season-opening match with as many wins, losses, goals scored and goals allowed as they did before the year even began.
For the Vaqueros, the 2013 campaign got off to a somewhat lackluster start, as they battled College of the Desert to a scoreless tie at Sartoris Field on Friday.
Despite what the scoreboard showed, Glendale dominated the pitch and created multiple scoring chances, out shooting its opponent, 16-2. The Vaqueros earned eight corner kicks and outplayed their bigger, more physical opponent from the desert in the late afternoon heat.
“We created the chances,” Glendale Coach Jorge Mena said. “We just couldn't put them away. Sometimes you get caught up into a game like this in which you dominate for 90 minutes and you're not able to get a goal.”
Much of the play took place in front of Desert's goal in the first half and that held true in the second. The Vaqueros’ conditioning started to show through, as they consistently outran their opponents to spots for solid shots.
“I'm happy for the fact that we broke the ice,” Mena said. “We'll be alright. Obviously we've got to work on finishing, there's no question about it.”
Before the match, Mena said he planned to rely on speedy forwards Monet Estrada and Elizabeth Mendoza. The diminutive Estrada darted in and out and held her ground against Desert's defenders.
Afterward, Estrada was quick to credit the defense and midfield play for helping create the chances. She said the team needs to focus on placement and finishing, but otherwise played well.
“I feel like we did well,” said Estrada, who was a multiple-time All-Horizon League selection at Holy Family. “It just feels like we were unlucky. I thought we did great, as a whole team we did great.”
Mendoza left the match about 12 minutes in with a noticeable limp. She tweaked her right ankle, which she injured last season, but after receiving treatment and slipping on an ankle support, she returned to play midway through the second half with no noticeable discomfort.
Multiple times throughout the match, it looked as if passes were just out of reach, the attacker was not in the exact spot or an open shot sailed wide — all things to be worked out as the season progresses.
“It's a good sign,” Mena said. “We'll be fine. As long as we keep improving, I'm happy.”