by Dennis McCall
Taft Midway Driller
Both Taft College soccer teams continue to prepare for the Central Valley Conference grind and both were victorious this week.
The Cougar women pushed their record above .500 on Tuesday with a 3-0 victory over a tough Lassen College team.
Head coach Myisha Cutrona likes what she sees.
"I'm really happy with this group," she said. "We have a team of soccer players. Our returnees are very disciplined and that makes it easier for the freshmen to buy into our system."
Despite the early season record "we have not played a team better than us. Our problem is we just aren't finishing. We're having trouble finding the back of the net. I keep telling them to take more shots."
Team leaders include sophomores Sierra Sagasta, Arielle Stoyanow, Alexia Gonzales and Moani Rivers.
Depth is an issue but Cutrona is pleased with the team's overall strength.
"We are 15-strong with the four others able to play well because of those that surround them."
TC will get another good test today when Los Angeles Pierce College (3-0-3) comes to town.
The conference looks strong with the exception of winless West Hills-Lemoore. Fresno as usual leads the pack with a 5-0-3 record with Taft at 4-3, Sequoias at 3-4 and West Hills 0-4.
Men start CVC
The Cougar man, meanwhile, open conference play today with a trip to Visalia where they will take on College of the Sequoias. The Giants are 3-4 in a conference that appears stronger from top to bottom.
West Hills-Lemoore (6-3) is setting the pace followed by Taft (4-2-1), Fresno (4-3-3) and Sequoias.
In Wednesday's non-conference match with El Camino the Cougars found themselves in a 1-0 hole early when the visitors scored a goal in the 17th minute, but rebounded to take a 2-1 lead at halftime on goals from Gustavo Campos (23rd) and Colby Evans (28th). Jesus Vidal got the assist on the first and Campos on the second.
The Cougars finished off the scoring on an unassisted goal from Danny Ortiz.
Taft played solid defense, keeping El Camino from threatening the Cougar net most of the day.
El Camino got a red card at the 85-minute mark but the Cougars backed off and focused on defense.
The Cougars have a tough schedule next week – traveling south to play undefeated Chaffey (6-0-2) before diving into conference play at home on Friday when rival Fresno comes to town.