WSoc: Warriors knock off Hope International

In the NAIA Women’s Soccer Match of the Week and the Warriors’ second Golden State Athletic Conference match of the year, #9 Westmont (6-2, 2-0) conquered the previously undefeated Hope International Royals (5-1-2, 2-1) by a score of 3-0.

The Warriors not only put an end to HIU’s winning streak, but they also quadrupled the number of goals scored against the Royals this season.

Head Coach Chantel Cappuccilli shared her initial thoughts about the game and said, “In all, we are doing well to create offensive opportunities and I was happy with our finishes today. We have been working on bridging the gap between chances created and chances scored and we are getting there.”

The Warriors capitalized on three of the 27 shots they had on goal today.

The first goal occurred in the 21st minute when sophomore, Brooke Lillywhite challenged a Royal defender to a one-on-one battle just inside the 18 yard box. Lillywhite was on her way to the goal when she was fouled in the goal box and awarded a penalty kick. With confidence, Lillywhite scored the penalty kick with a slotted shot into the bottom right corner of the goal.

The next goal was the result of a sweet Haley-to-Hailey connection in the 43rd minute. Sophomore Haley Parzonko was a bolt of lightning as she raced by several Royals defenders on the dribble down the left side of the field. Once she made it into the six yard box, she fired off a shot that was blocked by the Royals goalkeeper. Parzonko would not quit; she converted her blocked shot into an assist when she passed the loose ball to freshman Hailey Parker who capitalized on Parzonko’s persistence.

Cappuccilli reflected on Parker’s performance and said, “She has been making the most out of the minutes she has been playing. She has been productive with the time she has had. It is great to see her creating goal scoring opportunities and getting into goal scoring situations.”

Just one minute later, Parker went on to assist Kelsey Steck in the Warrior’s third and final goal of the game. Parker beat a Royal defender down the right sideline and crossed the ball to Steck on the left corner of the six yard box. The cross appeared too low to head and out of reach for a volley. Instead, Steck dove for it. In a phenomenal display of grit and athleticism, Steck lurched towards the ball and scored an exhilarating diving header goal.

“It was really great to score three goals in the first half and also great to get the shut out; I think that it was crucial for us to close out this game with a clean sheet,” said Cappuccilli. “Also, to have both goalkeepers be successful was encouraging. I think each one did a great job when they were in.”

Senior goalkeeper Lauren Dorr has 13 saves on the season and sophomore goalkeeper Amber Rojas has three.

Following a 7:00 p.m. away game against Biola on Wednesday, the Warriors will host Arizona Christian during homecoming weekend October 3 at 12:00 p.m.

“I am very excited for homecoming,” explained Cappuccilli. “We are having an athletic women’s alumni banquet on Saturday evening and I hope alumni in the area and from afar can come and join in. I think it is going to be a wonderful evening and I encourage alumni to come to the game and then to the dinner later that evening.”