WSoc: Westmont knocks off No. 1 Vanguard

Westmont spoiled Vanguard’s first day as the NAIA’s top-ranked women’s soccer team on Tuesday, handing the Lions their first loss of the season, 3-0, in the GSAC opener for both teams.

Vanguard received word of its first No. 1 ranking in program history less than two hours before kick-off of the Golden State Athletic Conference opener for both teams at Biola’s field.

Sophomore Sophia Smati, junior K.J. Hornibrook and freshman Sophie Fuller scored for the Warriors, while senior goalkeeper Lindsey Smith notched six saves to record her third shutout of the season.

“The first half we probably were more dangerous and we had more of the ball,” reported Westmont coach Kristi Kiely. “In the second half, Vanguard was coming after us and we had to defend and grind it out.”

The Warriors’ first score came in just the 13th minute of play.

“The first goal was a very nice flick on from Jenny, through to Frenchie,” said Kiely, referring to Smati who hails from Toulouse, France. “It was really fun to see Sophia get her first goal as a Warrior. I thought she also played a very important role in helping us hold the ball in the first half.”

In the 37th minute, the Warriors (7-0-1) would add another goal to go up 2-0.

“Amanda Diesen played a nice ball across to K.J. who was at the top of the 18,” described Kiely. “She turned, took somebody on and smacked it far post past the keeper in probably the smallest window she could. When K.J. scores, she scores pretty.”

Westmont’s third goal came in the 64th minute and served as a contrast to the 3-0 victory by Vanguard (7-1-0) in the final game of last season.

“Courtney (Stonesifer) found Kaci (Mexico) off of a corner,” said Kiely. “Kaci headed it across the face of the goal just past the keeper. Fuller was there to settle it and mash it home.”

Coming into the game, the Warriors knew they would have their hands full with Jordan Davidson, last year’s GSAC MVP. In two games last season, Davidson scored three times against the Warriors. However, the Warriors had a plan – a plan named Kaitlynn Durham.

“We thought Jordan was even better this year,” said Kiely after today’s game, “but we handled her well. Kat was man-marking her the entire game and she was phenomenal. Kat was quite possibly the player of the game. She and the entire back line helped us to shut her down.”

The Warriors continue GSAC play on Saturday when they host San Diego Christian (6-1-1, 0-0-1 GSAC) at 2:30 as the second half of a men’s and women’s soccer doubleheader.