By Carlos Alvarez
With a dramatic overtime golden goal by senior defender Kendra Serrano, Cal State Dominguez Hills defeated Cal State East Bay, 1-0, Sept. 18 at home.
On a set play from the top right side of the box, Serrano sailed a shot pasy Pioneer defenders and into the left side of the net.
“I was just trying to finish it for the team,” Serrano said. “Every conference game counts.”
After losing in overtime on Sept. 10 to Simon Fraser University, 1-0, CSUDH was able to flip the script and come out victorious.
“It was an improvement from last game and last season,” Serrano said. “We played in a lot of overtime games and couldn’t finish off victories.”
CSUDH Head Coach Aileen Nasypany said the win against East Bay shows team growth.
With the victory, the Toros overall record moves to 5-1, and 2-0 in conference play.
It was a game dominated by defense and ample scoring opportunities.
The Pioneers were in constant attack, but failed to score in nine shots on goal and seven corner kick opportunities.
East Bay was led by senior forward Megan Ravenscroft and Rachel Robert, who each had two shots on goal.
“Defensively, the ladies (Toros) worked really hard,” Nasypany said. “It was 100 percent effort and work ethic.”
The CSUDH defense was anchored by junior goalkeeper Elisa Martin, who had nine saves.
“I have a lot of confidence in my abilities,” Martin said. “We communicate (well) on defense. I’m just glad we pulled off the victory.”
The Toros have shutout five of their first six opponents in the season.
While the defense has been strong, the offense continues to improve.
Offensively, CSUDH was led by junior forward Dana Dibble and freshman forward Jada Thomas, who applied pressure inside the box. Dibble and Thomas combined for six shots, two shots on goal.
“We executed our offense a little bit better today,” Nasypany said. “We were able to grind and get some shots off.”
The Toros continue non-conference play at 4:30 p.m. Sept. 22, when they will host Concordia University.
“We are just trying to make a statement,” Serrano said. “Teams will have to take us seriously; they’ll know that we’re here to play.”