Phoenix, AZ --- The San Diego SeaLions rained goals upon the Arizona desert this weekend, defeating FC Tucson 2-1 on Friday before drowning Phoenix Del Sol by a 6-0 count. The wins put San Diego (3-0-0) atop the WPSL PacSouth standings with nine points.
But not everything was easy as it seemed, as the SeaLions fell behind Tucson (1-2-1) early when a handball in the penalty box led to an eighth-minute penalty score. But the visitors slowly took control of the match and in the 82nd minute, Andrea Duke (NM Highlands) found herself alone on the right side and drilled a bullet past Tucson goalkeeper Lainey Burdett (Arizona) to tie the score. The SeaLions continued to press their attack, and it paid off when Elise Britt (UCLA) took midfielder Angelina Hix (Mira Costa)’s pass and scored to put San Diego ahead in the 89th. The SeaLions’ stout defense, which has posted two shutouts and given up only the PK goal, was more than enough to seal the win.
"The wins were a total team effort," said SeaLions head coach Jen Lalor. "We never lost our composure and belief. This team always finds a way to win, it's part of our culture."
San Diego rolled into Phoenix brimming with confidence, and drew first blood in the 20th minute when midfielder Rosie Tantillo-Colon (USC/FC Gold Pride) traded passes with forward Soli Gomez (SDSU) before pushing a one-touch volley into the back of the Del Sol net. Monica Dolinsky (Kansas) doubled the SeaLions’ lead in the 29th and they held that lead into halftime.
"We exchanged some give-and-go passes, which we’ve worked on in practices," said co-captain Tantillo-Colon. "That enabled us to play our style of game and assert ourselves as a team."
The second half was all San Diego with goals in the 55th (Hix), 74th (Lili Andino (UC Irvine)), 76th (Kiana Palacios (UC Irvine)), and 79th minutes (Andino). The shutout was the second this season for goalkeeper Kaycee Gunion (CSU San Marcos).
"We found the back of the net early but what was encouraging about this win were the improvements we made as the match went on," Lalor added. "Individual players had great performances and the confidence we are playing with right now as a group is fun to watch. Our goal is nothing less than a WPSL Championship."
The SeaLions will return home to San Diego this weekend when they will host these same Arizona teams: Saturday, June 17th vs. Phoenix (7:30 p.m.), and Sunday, June 18th (2:00 p.m.) against Tucson.
The SeaLions’ home matches are played at Cathedral Catholic High School, 5555 Del Mar Heights Road, San Diego, CA 92130. If you can’t attend, follow them live on the ScoreStream App (www.scorestream.com).
The San Diego SeaLions are a non-profit 501c3 entity dedicated to fostering women's soccer coaching, playing, business & management opportunities. Formed in 1988, it’s one of the oldest and most successful women’s soccer clubs in the USA and is a charter member of the WPSL.