Dons’ big first half enough; DP’s Wynott gets personal victory

Dos Pueblos showed up at Peabody Stadium a half too late on Thursday night, and Santa Barbara took advantage of it.

Brianna Lopez scored two of Santa Barbara’s four goals in the first half, while DP responded with a pair in the second half as the Dons took the 4-2 Channel League decision.

“The girls really did what we’d been working on offensively in the first half, and we talked about energy at halftime but I thought we looked a little nervous and flat in the second half, so props to DP on that,” said Dons coach Bryan Lloyd.

DP coach Kymberly Williams-Evans noted that slow starts have plagued the Chargers as of late.

“We out-played them in the second half. We’ve done this for a few games now,” she said. “I don’t want our team to think that we’re just a second-half team.”

Lopez scored in the ninth and 19th minutes on assists by Sheridan Spivey and Sierra Leighty. Kelsie Cage was assisted by Hope Lutterbach in the 32nd, and Lutterbach scored off of a Lopez assist in the 40th to put the Dons in a comfortable spot.

DP did its best to take that comfort away as Nicole Gee buried a penalty kick from a hand-ball in the box eight minutes into the second, and Cathy Wynott put away a Claire Mathews corner kick about 10 minutes after that.

Wynott’s goal was a victory in itself for the Chargers. The senior is playing on a completely torn ACL and is scheduled to undergo surgery on February 2nd. She was injured all last season and re-injured the knee after just 10 minutes on the field this season.

“Her doctor basically said that it’s already torn and that she can’t hurt it anymore than it already is, so she came to me and said she wanted to play,” said Williams-Evans.

Wynott knew she had to savor the playing time with only a few matches left before her surgery, which will end her DP athletics career.

“It was amazing for my senior year just to get out there,” she said, admitting that she had to play smart and back off balls that she knew she wouldn’t be able to get to due to the injury.

“I just felt like I had so much momentum that the injury didn’t bother me.”

A tough preseason schedule seems to be paying off for the Dons, who are now 3-1 in league play and 3-5-1 overall. Dos Pueblos falls to 5-11-1 overall and 1-3 in league. The Chargers play Ventura on Tuesday, while the Dons have the Cougars on Thursday.

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