CYPRESS, CA - Cypress women's soccer (5-1-2, 0-0-1 OEC) tied their first Orange Empire Conference appearance against Saddleback (6-0-1, 0-0-1 OEC), 2-2.
The rematch from round three of the 2022 3C2A playoffs proved to be a physical and gritty matchup. Tensions were high at Ray Haas Field as the No. 6 Chargers took the field against the No. 1 Saddleback Bobcats.
To start the game, the home team maintained control of possession as they swarmed the visiting Bobcats at each turn. As the first half neared the end, the Bobcats managed to pressure the Chargers in the box. A strike from Saddleback deflected off of a Bobcat and ricocheted into the net to give the visiting team a 0-1 lead into halftime.
Both squads came out of the break with an upbeat tempo as time of possession played a huge factor. From a long throw in, Saddleback bounced the ball around in front of the Chargers goal. A strike from a Bobcat landed in the back of the net to increase their lead, 0-2.
With Cypress pushing down the field, the team accumulated more shots on goals than the Bobcats. A lucky bounce and a mistimed approach from the Saddleback goalkeeper allowed the home team to put their first goal on the scoreboard. Off the foot of Abigail Morales and assisted from Celine Gehrig, Cypress cut their deficit in half.
The Chargers continued to pursue the net with multiple opportunities near the goal. From just outside the box, Itzel Ramirez was able to get behind the ball for an incredible strike past the diving Bobcats goalkeeper. Ramirez's strong shot tied the game deep into play to make the score 2-2.
Time expired and the two juggernaut programs ended the game in a draw for their first OEC appearance. Sophomore Morales was able to put two shots on goal and scored one as she added her fifth goal on the season. Freshman Ramirez placed three shots on goal with one being the game-tying score. In net, Sofia Lopez faced 6 shots on goal and saved four in the 90 minutes. For their second and final regular season faceoff of the year, Cypress will travel to Saddleback in late October.
UP NEXT: Cypress continues their conference schedule at Orange Coast for their first road OEC game on Friday, September 29th. Kickoff will be at 3pm.
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