WSoc: Steck strikes twice in Warriors win

“One game doesn’t define a season – you have an opportunity this week to do something great and it starts on Wednesday.” This is what head coach Chantel Cappuccilli repeatedly voiced to the #8 Westmont Women’s Soccer team (11-3-2, 6-1-2) in the practice sessions leading up to today’s game.

The Warriors embraced the opportunity to be great in today’s Golden State Athletic Conference women’s soccer game when they defeated Hope International 2-0.

Cappuccilli attributes today’s success to the previous days’ practice sessions.

“Our response in training on Monday and Tuesday was crucial to our success today,” explained Cappuccilli. “We had two very good training sessions. They passed the ball around with speed and precision and their movement on and off the ball was sharp as well – both of which translated into the game today.”

Both of the Warriors’ goals were scored by none other than the team’s leading goal scorer, a two time recipient of this season’s GSAC Women’s Soccer Offensive Player of the Week honors, senior Kelsey Steck.

Steck scored in the 26th and 56th minutes of the game off of assists from Jackie Lopez, Haley Parzonko, and Destinee Adams.

“Both goals came off of opportunities that were initially created out wide,” reported Cappuccilli. “On the first goal Jackie did a fantastic job – she received the ball, took a touch down the line, cut the ball back across her defender, drove inside and put the ball across the face of the goal. Kelsey was there to make a calm and composed finish.

“The second goal started with a corner kick,” continued Cappuccilli. “The ball got jumbled around and we maintained possession of it in the attacking third. Haley crossed the ball from the right side of the goal box across the goal to Destinee. She quickly played Kelsey who pinned a shot into the top right corner of the goal.”

Cappuccilli noted that the harmonious connection between the midfield and the defensive backline was a key component in the Warrior’s success.

“We connected well out of the back and that helped us find success in the middle of the field,” said Cappuccilli. “Because our backline was able to get the ball out so quickly, our midfielders had more time and space to turn on the ball and distribute. Collectively, our midfield (Brooke Lillywhite, Alanna Richards, and Destinee Adams) dominated the game – it was the best game I have seen from them so far.”

With this win, the Warriors are tied with #11 Biola (12-2-3, 6-1-2) for first place in the GSAC standings, with only one game left in the regular season. They will finish with a home game against San Diego Christian at 2:30 p.m. on senior day.

“This game is big for a number of reasons, but what we tell the women is that every game is a big game – our approach doesn’t change,” explained Cappuccilli. “What makes this game special is the fact that we get to honor the six seniors that are going to be graduating and reflect on all the contributions they have made to the program.”