After a somewhat sluggish start to the season, Mariners' Women's Soccer has gotten into a nice groove of late. Marin defeated the Napa Valley Storm on Friday 1-0 thanks to an early goal by Jurany Pohl and some excellent defense throughout the match. The victory, the Mariners fourth in a row, firmly cemented their third place status, and keeps them within striking distance of league leaders Solano and Los Medanos.
Marin controlled the ball from the first whistle, but early opportunities did not immediately bear fruit. Thalia Loppies had two chances down the right wing, but her first shot went right at the keeper and her second try, a low cross, was deflected away by a Napa defender. The third time was the charm for the freshman as Elise Perez released her in space on the left. Loppies cut in to the 18-yard box and hot a low cross that Pohl pounced on, and beat the keeper left to right for Marin's 1-0 lead.
For the remainder of the first half the Mariners tried their hardest to add a second but were denied. Deidre Hyde went close in the 27th minute, but her shot was parried by the Napa keeper. Stephanie Flores had an excellent shot from distance glance off the thigh of the goalie and to the feet of a defender. Marin had their chances, but could not bag a second goal.
Defensively the Mariners did an excellent job of controlling the midfield and preventing buildup by Napa. The Storm had one half chance I the second half, as a cross from the right wing was half volleyed by a player in the box to the left of the goal. There was solid contact, but fortunately it flew right at Mariners' keeper Vanessa Miller who got the shot to deny the opportunity.
Napa pressured during the final minutes, but Marin's defense held strong for the 1-0 victory.
The win was the Mariners sixth of the year and fifth in conference play. Their 5-2-1 record in the Bay Valley Conference gives them a chance to supplant the current leaders.
Marin matches up with Solano College at 4pm on Tuesday, October 30th before hosting undefeated Los Medanos on November 2nd.