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Promising future for women’s soccer

Palomars Michelle Skupnjak steals the ball from Santa Anas Briana Ceballos. The Comets met Santa Ana on Friday, Sept. 1, 2017 at Minkoff Field. The final score was 2-1, in favor of Santa Ana. (Alexis Metz-Szedlacsek/The Telescope)
Palomar’s Michelle Skupnjak steals the ball from Santa Ana’s Briana Ceballos. The Comets met Santa Ana on Friday, Sept. 1, 2017 at Minkoff Field. The final score was 2-1, in favor of Santa Ana. (Alexis Metz-Szedlacsek/The Telescope)

 

Samantha Kaye-Toral keeps the ball away from Santa Ana's Mayra De La Cruz as she heads towards the goal on Sept. 1. at Minkoff Field. The final score was 2-1, in favor of Santa Ana. Alexis Szedlacsek / The Telescope
Samantha Kaye-Toral keeps the ball away from Santa Ana’s Mayra De La Cruz as she heads towards the goal on Sept. 1. The final score was 2-1, in favor of Santa Ana. Alexis Szedlacsek / The Telescope

Palomar’s women’s soccer team hasn’t gotten off to the greatest start this season after recording two losses and a tie in their first three games.

 

Head coach and Palomar alumni Hector Hernandez still have a positive outlook on the season citing the talented, but young team he has to work with this year.

Hernandez likes to adjust his team according to the opposition’s formation, but he always tries to play attacking soccer, with his fullbacks coming up into the final third.

The team is made up of only six returning players and 14 freshmen. With such a fresh team coach Hernandez will need the leadership of his returning players like captains Brittany Small and Yuli Chamu.

But he has an arsenal of new talents as well.

Freshman Michelle Skupnjak, who has previous experience with the Croatian national team, has already managed to record a goal and an assist in a game and a half before she hurt her quad against Santa Ana College. She’s expected to be back soon.

Palomar's Alexia Bruzzi defends the ball against Santa Ana's Brianna Ceballos on Sept. 1. The final score was 2-1, in favor of Santa Ana. Alexis Szedlacsek / The Telescope
Palomar’s Alexia Bruzzi defends the ball against Santa Ana’s Brianna Ceballos on Sept. 1.  Alexis Szedlacsek / The Telescope

 

Samantha Kaye-Toral, another freshman, is a versatile player who can line-up anywhere on the front line or midfield. Kaye-Toral plays an aggressive style, making good runs off the ball and strong tackling. 

The team will have to start turning its talent into results if they want to compete in the conference this season as they have already slipped to fourth in the PCAC as of Sept. 7.

It’s still early days in the season and a turnaround is still possible.

 

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Promising future for women’s soccer