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Vaqueros topple No. 17 Ventura in WSC North opener

Mekaylla White races past the goalie to score the game-winning goal in the 60th minute. (Photo by Ken Sciallo/Sevilla Photography)
Mekaylla White races past the goalie to score the game-winning goal in the 60th minute. (Photo by Ken Sciallo/Sevilla Photography)

Mekaylla White scored a goal in each half on Tuesday night and SBCC held off No. 17 Ventura, 2-1, in a WSC North women's soccer opener at La Playa Stadium.

The Vaqueros are 3-0-1 in their last four and all three wins were by 2-1 counts. SBCC evened its record at 4-4-1 while the Pirates dropped to 5-3-2.

The Vaqueros have won the last two WSC North titles and they're unbeaten in their last 21 conference games (20-0-1).

White, a freshman forward from Folsom, took a pass from Sean O'Brien at 13:46 and drilled a 13-yard shot off the keeper's hands to the top shelf. She struck again in the 60th minute when a hustle play resulted in a richochet goal and a 2-0 lead.

A Ventura defender booted the ball back to goalie Aracely Castro and she immediately tried to kick it away. White hustled over in front of the keeper and her kick bounced off White and back into the goal for what turned out to be the game-winner.

"That was a mistake by the goalie and I just capitalized on it," said White. "I don't think she thought I was going to pressure the ball. It feels really good to beat Ventura for our first conference win."

SBCC goalie Elizabeth Estrada made a pair of leaping saves in the second half, punching the ball over the cross bar each time.

The Pirates pulled within one, 2-1, when Sammy Zanini lofted a 30-yard free kick from close to the right sideline into the net in the 70th minute.

The Vaqueros won the shot battle 14-9 and doubled up the Pirates in shots on goal, 8-4.

"At times, we played very well," said 15th-year SBCC head coach John Sisterson. "When we got the ball on the floor and knocked it around, we looked good. The five minutes before we scored, I thought we played exceptionally well.

"We got that first goal, then we let it slip a little and started knocking long balls instead of getting them down. We told them to keep pressing the keeper and chase everything and that's how we got our second goal.

"We knew it was going to be a battle. Ventura is a good team, they beat Cerritos this year. That's a good result for the conference and for our power points."

Sisterson praised the play of midfielder Savannah Mohatt, who delivered a hard strike in the 50th minute that Castro punched over the bar.

The Vaqueros will travel to San Luis Obispo to take on 11th-ranked Cuesta (7-1) on Friday at 4 p.m.