After a slow start in the first half, Orange Coast College stormed back in the third quarter to defeat Golden West College 14-6 at home on Wednesday.
Now winners of 13 straight, the win on Wednesday pushed the Pirates into first place in the Orange Empire Conference.
Against the 13-10 Rustlers, the Pirates came out to a surprisingly poor start in the first quarter. Freshman Rustler attacker Daniella Jiron scored the first goal of the game in the first 20 seconds to set the tone for the period. Sophomore utility Ella Wisdom got the Pirates on the board with a goal off of an assist from sophomore utility Destiny Hernandez, but GWC would score two more goals in the second half of the quarter to take a 3-1 lead.
“We just didn't come out with the right mentality or the right aggressiveness,” OCC head coach Dan Matulis said. “And so the major adjustment that we talked about wasn't really tactical, it was just to be intentional with what we’re doing and to take our jobs very seriously.”
Jiron started the second quarter off with her second goal of the game, but Coast would shorten the lead with back-to-back goals from Wisdom and freshman utility Jillian Duwe. With three minutes left in the period, Jiron and Wisdom continued to duel offensively, as each added another goal in the half.
The Pirates headed into the second half trailing 5-4, but stellar play from sophomore goalie Annabelle Sherman helped the Pirates go on a dominant 7-0 run in the third quarter. Sherman played all four quarters at goalie in the win, and had five of her 12 saves in the third quarter.
“She is, in my opinion, the best goalie in the state, and she definitely played like it today,” Matulis said.
Sophomore attacker Faith Cuevas, Hernandez and Duwe scored a pair of goals in the third, and Sherman had two assists in the quarter. The strong second half from Duwe would tie her with Wisdom in scoring for the Pirates with three goals in the game.
“She had a great mentality coming out of halftime and it showed with how she performed,” Matulis said.
After building an 11-5 lead, Coast cruised to a win in the fourth quarter after scoring two goals in the first two minutes. Sophomore center Kendall Chrisman would score the final goal of the game with 16 seconds left to seal the 14-6 win for OCC.
Coast will finish its conference schedule next week on Wednesday in a battle for first place against 18-2 Fullerton College.
We just have to come in and be aggressive and ready to play,” Matulis said. “It’s also about understanding how good we are. Fullerton is really good, but we’re really good as well.”