College of Marin controlled the ball and the match in a home victory over Merritt College on Friday. The Mariners dominated the Thunderbirds with an astounding 18 shots on goal. Marin scored in the first and 40th minutes of the first half and cruised to a 2-0 win, their first home victory of the season.
From opening whistle, Marin controlled possession and pace of the match. They earned a corner inside the first 60 seconds. Steffanie Flores took the corner high and deep to the back post where Elise Perez met the ball with a powerful header into the back of the net. Marin led 1-0 early on and kept the pressure on Merritt.
Marin had 11 first half shots on goal, but only the first one found the promised land until late in the first half. In the 40th minute Thalia Loppies intercepted a pass and took it down the right flank. She hit a low ground cross to Amelia Nopper. Nopper loaded up and blasted the ball past the goalie into the back of the net for a 2-0 Mariners lead.
The second half was generally a drab affair as the Mariners were content to knock the ball about the field, while staying in control. Merritt had limited possession and could not generate any real threat on the Mariners' goal. The Thunderbirds did get three shots on goal in the second half but they were nothing to trouble the Marin keepers.
Gladis Polanco, Loppies and Cesiah Macias each played between the pipes. Loppies recorded a save and Macias a pair as she finished the game in goal.
Perez recorded her second goal in as many matches, assisted by Steffanie Flores, her first of the year. Nopper scored her first career goal for the Mariners as Loppies earned the assist, her first of the campaign.
The win progressed the Mariners record to 3-6-1 overall and 2-2-1 in the Bay Valley Conference. Marin is currently in fourth place in the conference, behind Los Medanos, Solano and Yuba Colleges.
The Mariners have the first of back to back matches against Mendocino College beginning on Tuesday, October 16th in Ukiah at 2pm.