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Viana sparks Vaqueros to 18th straight home win, 2-0

Isabella Viana tallies her 11th goal of the year and 30th of her career in the fifth minute. (Photo by Ken Sciallo/Sevilla Photography)
Isabella Viana tallies her 11th goal of the year and 30th of her career in the fifth minute. (Photo by Ken Sciallo/Sevilla Photography)

Isabella Viana had a goal and assist on Tuesday night, leading SBCC to a dominating 2-0 women's soccer win over Cuesta in a first-place battle at La Playa Stadium.

The Vaqueros, ranked No. 3 in the state power points, improved to 8-2-1 and took sole possession of first in the WSC at 3-0. Cuesta fell to 9-4 and 2-1.

It was the 18th straight home win and the 25th in 26 home games for the Vaqueros, who took second in the state last year.

Viana scored her 11th goal just 4:04 into the contest. She got open with a couple of fakes and some nifty dribbling, then beat the keeper from 14 yards. Viana, the second-leading scorer in the WSC North, has 30 goals in her two-year career.

Santa Barbara took the first 16 shots of the game and outshot the Cougars 22-4 in the first half, which ended with the Vaqueros on top, 1-0.

Cuesta's keeper Brenae Damery made a half-dozen strong saves to keep the Cougars in the game. She finished with 16 saves.

Santa Barbara outshot the visitors 33-9 on the night, including 11-2 in on-target shots.

Nicole Van Sickle, a sophomore defender who missed five games with an injury, tallied her first goal of the year in the 57th minute. She took a pass from Viana and launched a high-arching shot from 32 yards away on the right side.

"I had the ball coming to me and it was a first-time kick," recalled Van Sickle. "I knew that she was having trouble with balls that came straight over her head. I knew if we kept doing that, sooner or later one would go in.

"We're starting to work a lot better together on defense. We've really improved with our passing and communication."

Sophomore goalie Holly Telliard and the defense notched their fourth shutout in the last five games. The Vaqueros have won their last six games, outscoring the opponents 15-2.

"We played very well in the first half, we just need to find a little composure around the box when we're finishing," said 14th-year head coach John Sisterson. "We rushed a couple of shots and their keeper played well."

The Vaqueros will go north to Santa Maria to take on Hancock on Friday at 2 p.m.