With her top two scorers back as sophomores in All-South Coast Conference Second Team forwards Isabela Guerrero and Megan Schmidt, Pasadena City College women’s soccer team head coach Terryn Soelberg is excited about her team’s prospects going into the 2023 season. The Lancers opened Friday with a 3-1 victory at Moorpark, spearheaded by two goals from Guerrero.
Soelberg, in her third season in charge of the program, has a strong freshmen group to complement Guerrero, the Lancers’ top points scorer last year with nine goals and nine assists, and Schmidt, who led PCC with 11 goals and added four assists. The pair accounted for 20 of the team’s 44 goals last year.
Against Moorpark, freshman midfielder Charlie Gallardo was fouled in the box in the 16th minute and followed with a penalty kick goal for a 1-0 PCC lead. Guerrero then took over early in the second half. In the 51st minute, she received a pass from frosh defender Alexa Espinoza-Gutierrez and finished for a 2-0 advantage. Less than five minutes later, Guerrero again received a perfect pass, this time from from first-year forward Angely Puga to net her second goal.
PCC freshman goalie Natalia Portillo, the team’s tallest player at 5-foot-10, made five saves and only allowed a Moorpark goal off a set piece by Taylor Selznick in the 64th minute.
“I’m proud of the win,” Soelberg said. “Moorpark has a good program, so it was nice to start the season 1-0. Isabela was a handful for the other team and she established her presence with two great goals. We have some talented freshmen in the middle that played the full game. Overall, I thought we moved the ball well. I’m excited four our next test on Tuesday.”
On August 29 at 4 p.m., PCC plays at Bakersfield College, a place Soelberg called home when she led the Western State Conference in scoring in 2009, playing for the Renegades.
The coach talked glowingly about her freshmen group.
“Charlie and Delilah Velazquez held the middle for us well v. Moorpark. Both are very smart and technical players and I know they will do big things for our program. Itzel Nunez and Destiny Delgado were our center backs and their competitiveness helped us tremendously. Nat kept us in the game with some big saves. Alexa and Angely are also freshmen who set up Bela’s goals.”
Delgado comes in with bells and whistles as an All-CIF and Pacific League Player of the Year at Arcadia High. Nunez was All-LA City Division II from Academia Avance. Puga scored the game-winning goal in overtime when Marshall Fundamental captured the 2022 CIF Division 5 championship, played at PCC.
Soelberg’s opening day starting unit was Portillo (West Covina High), sophomore midfielder Bertha Guzman, Velazquez (Marshall Fundamental), Delgado, sophomore transfer defender Riley Buck (from Norco College), Espinoza-Gutierrez (Covina), Puga, Guerrero, Nunez, Gallardo (Monrovia), and frosh defender Angie Grigoryan (Crescenta Valley).
The team’s 24-player roster includes sophomores in defender Katy Cabral-Sinardi and forward Andrea Sanchez and newcomers in goalie Layla Hoyo (Burbank Burroughs HS), midfielder Hailey Hull (Pasadena High), defender Tatiana Grigoryan (Angie’s sister), midfielder Samantha Shahin (Mark Keppel), defender Alyssa Avila (Temple City), midfielders Hallee Cervantes and Claudia Soos (both from PHS), forward Christina Garcia (Monrovia), defender Lexie Gallo (Marshall Fundamental), and forward Michelle Navarro (Glendale).
PCC won its first season opener since 2019 when it routed Imperial Valley, 8-0.
The Lancers play their first home match on Saturday, Sept. 2 under the lights at Robinson Stadium v. Norco at 7 p.m. Pasadena begins South Coast Conference play on October 3 when it plays at LA Harbor College.