Women’s soccer team continues perfect start; still “room for improvement”
By Emily Sisk
Chemeketa’s women’s soccer team opened the season with a bang.
After starting conference play with a 2-0 record, the Storm faced Pierce College Oct. 4 and earned a decisive victory of 3-1.
An all-freshman scoring show followed as midfielders McKenna Kendall and Kim Ponce and forward Holly Martinez-Moorman led the Storm to victory.
It was clear from the opening minutes that the Storm were ready to play.
Martinez-Moorman forced an early save with a shot that easily could have been the first score of the game. She would get another chance later.
Following the opening surge, both teams settled in, trading possession and spending equal time on each other’s side of the field.
It didn’t take long for the Storm to take control.
After the Storm pushed the Pierce defensive line back, Kendall caught the goalkeeper off her line and scored in the 15th minute.
It seemed that team captain Taylor Waite would continue the momentum with a goal in the 23rd minute, but the Pierce goalkeeper was able to make a save.
In the 41st minute, following a shot on goal by Pierce, the Storm organized a counterattack. The lead grew to 2-0 when Ponce scored on an assist from fellow midfielder Alejandra Marquez.
As the first half was closing, the Storm began to relinquish control and the game’s momentum started to shift with Pierce forcing two saves in the final minutes.
Storm Coach Art Mota sensed the shift in energy and implored his team during the break to score a third goal to start the second half.
“If we get a goal in the first 10 minutes, they’re finished,” Mota said to the bench.
Despite Mota’s encouragement, Pierce maintained its momentum to start the half, testing the Storm’s defense.
Within 20 minutes, Pierce forced two big saves from goalkeeper Micaela Sotelo. This marked the first time in the game that Pierce looked threatening.
In the 68th minute, Pierce scored its one goal off a shot that sailed just over Sotelo’s outstretched fingertips, making the score 2-1.
For the next 10 minutes, it seemed as though a Storm victory might be slipping away.
Pierce forced another save in the 78th minute.
That’s when the Storm rallied.
In the 80th minute, Martinez-Moorman scored, pushing the Storm’s lead to 3-1 lead.
Even with the Pierce pressure and goal in the second half, Martinez-Moorman said that the team remained optimistic.
“We just needed one more to put it back up,” she said.
Although Chemeketa has started the season with a perfect record, Waite said that the team could still get better.
“There’s always room for improvement,” she said. “The most important part is to keep our backline solid and also to just take our opportunities offensively and just score.”
The Storm continues its drive toward the top of the NWAACC table at 2 p.m. this Wednesday on the road at Lane Community College in Eugene. The next home game is at noon. The location will be announced on the team’s website.
“We’re in the race for first place, and we want to keep winning,” Waite said.