With a 1-0 win over West Valley College and a player red carded and ejected, the new season for American River College’s women’s soccer team began in quite a fashion.
The red card came first, with 58 minutes played in the game. ARC sophomore defender Taelor Silveira got tangled up with a player and both went down to the ground.
Both players struggled to get back up and went down to the ground a second time. Silveira then appeared to throw a punch that connected with the side of the opposing player’s head.
Silveira was issued a red card and left the field shortly after play resumed.
Assistant coach Rick Carrigan, filling in for suspended head coach Paul Arellanes, said he did not see the punch from the team’s bench, but that it would likely result in a two-game suspension.
“The standard is that you leave the current game and then miss the next, but (ARC athletic director Greg Warzecka) told me that he thought it might be a two-game suspension because there apparently was a strike made. I didn’t see it,” said Carrigan.
“There’s nothing we can do now except move forward. We’re gonna miss her, but it’s a learning experience,” said Carrigan.
Despite having one less player on the pitch for the remainder of the game, ARC’s energy seemed to pick up following the red card, and in the 69th minute of play, freshman forward Theresa Cooper scored the game’s only goal.
Cooper’s winning goal bounced off the right post but ricocheted into the net. She had multiple shots on goal throughout the game, including one that bounced off the top crossbar.
The women were altogether impressive in the game. Despite only playing three midfielders compared to West Valley’s five, ARC successfully moved the ball forward and out of dangerous situations consistently, and the defenders played well enough to keep freshman goalkeeper Stephanie Doss from having to make any truly challenging saves.
Doss said after the game that she definitely felt a boost of energy from her fellow teammates after the red card, and that, along with the win, made her first game with ARC all the more special.
“It was crazy, it was fun, I really enjoyed it. I love working with these girls,” said Doss.
Carrigan was also enthusiastic about the win, and sees the playoffs as a reasonable goal for this year’s team, despite the disappointment of last year’s team finishing with a 4-15 win-loss record in the regular season and a 3-11 record in the Big 8 Conference.
“We have some work to do, obviously. Big 8 is a tough conference, and so our hope is to make the playoffs every year. We hope we have the players to do that every year, and so far it looks like we do,” Carrigan said.