Penalties lead to Glendale Community College women's soccer loss

GLENDALE — It was a called handball in a crowded scrum that put the Glendale Community College women's soccer team on its heels.

Already down by a goal against College of the Canyons at home on Friday, a handball was called on the Vaqueros in front of their own goal in the 44th minute. Cougar Allison Oliver connected on the penalty kick widen the COC lead.

“I felt like it built up our frustration,” Glendale team captain Sheila Araji (Glendale High) said. “Penalty kicks are hard to get back from. They're just sacrificed goals.”

Glendale ended up losing to COC, 3-0, at Sartoris Field in a Western State Conference match.

The goal from the handball was actually the second that the Cougars scored off a penalty in the first half. Earlier, another foul was called in front of the Vaqueros' goal, and Allie Leon made good on the uncontested shot.

“It's difficult when they score on you and you have to battle uphill,” Glendale Coach Jorge Mena said of the penalty shots.

COC scored its third and final goal with just under 22 minutes remaining in the match off a Leilani Konrad shot.

The Vaqueros were aggressive early, going with a 4-4-2 formation. Mena felt he should take advantage of being at home.

“It's home, we might as well go at it,” Mena said. “We had our chances. It is what it is, you just have to play the game.”

The Vaqueros, who fall to 4-3-4 overall and 1-2-1 in Western State Conference play, knew the match against the Cougars (8-1-2, 4-0) was going to be tough. Coming into Friday, College of the Canyons had won four straight, outscoring their opponents, 19-4. The Cougars haven't allowed a goal since Sept. 17.

“We started out really strong,” Araji said. “We were ready for a good game. The more intense it got, we fell off our level. It was just too much on the field, too much intensity.”

The intensity started to boil over late in the match. The Vaqueros received four yellow cards.

“It was frustration,” Mena said.

This is the second loss this week for Glendale, which fell to Antelope Valley, 1-0, on Tuesday. The squad returns to the pitch when it hosts Los Angeles Valley College on Tuesday.

“I just hope that we can learn from our mistakes,” Araji said. “The most important thing is that we get back up.”

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