American River College’s women’s soccer team fell to a 5-10-2 overall record for the season after a 1-0 loss against Santa Rosa Junior College on Tuesday.
SRJC came into the game ranked 7th in the NorCal rankings, and 13th in the state.
“Historically, they’re always one of the top teams around,” said ARC head coach Paul Arellanes.
The game got off to a fast, physical start, with SRJC midfielder Annie Studdert exiting early after getting hit in the face by the ball. She returned shortly after.
Despite the strong effort, ARC struggled in the first half to get the ball out of their own defensive zone.
The first shot on goal for ARC wasn’t until the final minutes of the first half, coming on a corner kick.
The only goal of the match came in the 55th minute of play, as SRJC forward Kayleen Belda scored on a breakaway attempt after a defensive lapse by ARC.
“They got over our defense, and we were playing really high up (because) we were really trying to score, so our defense just couldn’t keep up with it,” said ARC goalie Stephanie Doss.
“I stayed on my line instead of coming up like I should have. I just misjudged it,” she said.
For Doss, it was her first game after missing a week due to a concussion. Rust wasn’t an issue for her, however, as she recorded six saves.
“This is probably the best game we’ve had in a really long time,” she said.
The physical play continued and increased throughout the second half, with both teams seeming to become more aggressive for possession.
ARC forward Andrea Gumina exited the game in the second half with a right leg injury, needing assistance from trainers to get off the field, and did not return.
Brittney Neumann, another forward for ARC, exited as well in the second half and was later on the sidelines with an ice pack taped to her ankle. She also did not return.
Arellanes says the physicality and the injuries that may come with it is all part of the game.
“At this time of year, there’s a lot of people getting banged up. We’ve been playing twice a week for 6 weeks, 7 weeks now, and so it’s like, everyone’s got aches and pains and you gotta deal with it,” he said.
“It’s college soccer, that’s what it’s all about. It’s not always pretty, but it’s physical and people are running hard, and there’s contact, and that’s what it’s all about,” he said.
Late in the game, ARC’s offense finally got into a flow, but came up short on scoring.
Twice following corner kicks, there were scrambles near the net, one of which resulted in three of ARC’s nine shots on goal.
ARC also had a chance to score on a fumbled save by SRJC goalie Morgan Jernigan late, but she was able to recover the ball before a shot was attempted.
On the overall performance, coach Arellanes said, “All in all today, the effort was good, the pressure was good, we did some things that we hadn’t been able to do the last five, six games. We were just unlucky enough to score a goal.”
ARC has two games remaining in it’s regular season schedule, playing at Diablo Valley College on Nov. 7 at 3 p.m. and hosting Sacramento City College on Nov. 13 in the regular season finale.