Wildcats start slow, finish strong


Junior forward Korie Bozart kicks the ball after a stoppage in play. Photo credit: Lamar Lomack

The Chico State women’s soccer team dominates the first half. They maintain possession of the ball, create scoring opportunities and out-shoot the opposing team. However, for all their strengths, the Wildcats routinely fail to score in the first half. Luckily for them, they flip the switch in the second half.

Same old story in their 3-1 win versus Stanislaus State on Sept. 20. They kept Stanislaus on their heels throughout with superior passing and teamwork. Yet, they came up empty on 8 shots and could not exploit any defensive lapses in the first 45 minutes.

In the second half, the Wildcats stepped up their intensity and executed on their opportunities.

“We were frantic in the second half and let it all loose,” senior Brooke Coelho said.

The scoring began with a smart play by freshman Miranda Moses. She drew a penalty kick in 51 minutes, which allowed forward Pooja Patel to score her first goal of the season. Then, on minute 61, a defensive mishap by Chico tied the game as the ball flew by the outstretched hands of goalie Claire Abele.

The Wildcats struck back with 5 minutes remaining when freshman Lauren Madero cut inside to beat the defender and net a beautiful goal inside the far post. Chico ended any hope of a comeback in the last minute as fellow freshman Sarah Emigh scored off a deflected ball.

Disaster struck on minute 87, as Coelho collided with a Stanislaus player. She remained on the field for a few minutes and needed the help of a trainer to limp off. Although the injury looked serious, Coelho said she would be fine.

The Wildcats improved to 4-3-0 overall and remain undefeated at home. After another home game Friday night against San Francisco State, the team hopes to take their home winning streak on the road as they travel to face Humboldt State and Sonoma State next weekend.

Mathew Miranda can be reached at [email protected] or @MattMSports on Twitter.