After a three-game road trip, the women’s soccer team returned to Cox Stadium Friday for a hard-fought 2-0 victory over the Notre Dame de Namur University Argonauts.
The Gators put up a defensive wall in the first half by allowing a mere two shots on goal. The team’s midfielders eventually won possession of the ball and attacked the Notre Dame defense.
“Our defense at the moment has solidified itself and so has our goalkeeper,” said head coach Jack Hyde. “They were winning the air balls, and winning the tackles. We also got two goals in the first half, so everything is going good.”
Midfielder Lauren Hayano scored her first goal of the season off of a corner kick to give the Gators a 1-0 lead.
“It feels really great, I’ve just been shooting a lot and just trying to get a goal in,” Hayano said. “I think our forwards and midfielders have been working really hard on getting across, crossing it and finishing it.”
Defender and senior, Stephanie Vanni also scored her first goal of the season and second of the game at the 31′ mark from 15 yards away.
“It’s exciting to score my goal, but it was definitely a whole team effort,” said defender, Stephanie Vanni. “I think we’re all working together and not just one individual. It’s a whole team effort, that’s why we’ve been successful so far.”
By halftime, the Gators had a 2-0 lead over the Argonauts. But by the start of second half the team had lost its momentum.
During the first 20 minutes of the second half, the Argonauts controlled possession of the ball and had six shots on goal.
SF State goalkeeper Allison Land made a spectacular save at the beginning of the second half as Argonaut forward Jessica Santos sent a laser header toward the Gator’s goal.
Despite a sloppy start to the second half, the Gators managed to gain possession of the ball and control the game once again.
“The game dropped off a little bit in the second half,” Hyde said. “We talked about it at halftime that a 2-0 is a very dangerous lead because if they come back with one goal it becomes nervous time.”
By the end of the game, the Gators had 13 shots on goal and the Argonauts had 8.
The Gators returned to Cox Stadium from three away games against William Jessup University, Saint Martin’s University and Fresno Pacific University, where they went 2-1 and outscored their foes foes 6-2.
The Gators (4-1) will put their three-game winning streak on the line against Hawaii Pacific University Monday at 3pm at Cox Stadium.