The COM Women's Soccer team has endured season long personnel problems, battling, injuries, eligibility and availability. Friday's Bay Valley Conference game, against Merritt College started much the same with only 10 Mariners in uniform. Despite being out manned, the Mariners persevered and took home the 2-0 win at the end of the day.
The game started quickly with a flurry of chances for the College of Marin, as Monica Vasquez came close in the opening minute. She had a chance saved by the keeper and another that buzzed over the crossbar. Merritt began tentatively at first but found their legs 10 minutes in when they hit the crossbar twice and the post within an eight minute span.
Kalia Rothlind made her debut in playing a midfield role, and made an immediate impact, facilitating ball movement from the backline to the strikers. She fed Grace Gurung who went close before a keeper save. Early exhaustion led Head Coach Chris King to play with as few as eight at different points in the first half. Sierra Grossman was forced off early in the first half, while Gurung and Kristin Broderick also needed time for injuries. Merritt came close several times in the first half but the backline, led by Yessica Arriaza held strong.
The Mariners found the break through a half hour in as Monica Vasquez took a pass from Rothlind and crossed into the box from the right channel. Grossman, having recently re-entered the match, chested the ball into the net for the 1-0 lead.
The second half started with more goal scoring opportunities engineered by Rothlind and Gurung but the Mariners were unable to double their advantage. Vasquez was shown a yellow card after a collision with the Merritt keeper after the pursuit of a long ball. Despite the caution, Vasquez didn't lose her tenacity and latched on to a Rothlind pass inside the box before slotting home for the 2-0 lead and the victory.
It was a day of firsts for the Mariners. First win of the season, first multi goal game of the year and the first shutout of the year for Marin keeper Patty Lindsay who made 10 saves. Vasquez scored her first goal of the year after leading the team last season. She also assisted on the other two Marin goals this year.
The Mariners travel to Yuba on Tuesday, September 29th looking to build on their first win.