by Dennis McCall
Taft Midway Driller
Sophomore midfielder Selina Chacon had a hat trick in the first half to help power the Taft College women's soccer team to a 6-0 whitewash of visiting West Hills-Lemoore on the home field Tuesday afternoon.
The Cougars solidified their hold on second place in the Central Valley Conference with a 4-1 record heading into today's regular season finale in Fresno against the undefeated Rams (5-0 CVC, 18-0-2 overall), who defeated the Cougars 2-0 when they played in Taft on Oct. 28.
The Cougars put the match out of reach early.
Chacon scored in the ninth minute off an assist from Gonzalez to open the scoring.
Five minutes later Stoyanow, who was converted from goalkeeper to midfielder midway through the season because of injuries, scored the first of her two goals after taking a pass from Manzano.
Chacon added her second and third goals in the 21st and 28th minutes on assists from Manzano and Gonzalez to give the Cougars an insurmountable 4-0 lead with 17 minutes still left in the first half.
Head coach Myisha Cutrona cleared her bench as the team put the emphasis on defense the rest of the way, but still managed to create scoring opportunities.
West Hills goalkeeper Nichelle Solorzano may have been the busiest player on the field.Â
She had to defend 22 legitimate shots on goal from the Cougars.Â Six found their mark but she managed to defend the other 16.
By contrast, her counterpart â€" former Taft High standout Hannah Tovar â€" had a much easier day, deflecting the Eagles' only shot on goal.
The regular season ends today and playoff seeds will be announced Saturday.
The Cougars ranked 13th in the northern California power rankings that play a major role in playoff seeding.Â Sixteen teams will make it to the NorCal playoffs.
Last year the Cougars pulled off two upsets, including the No. 2 seed, before being knocked out of the playoffs.
Fresno 5-0 (18-0-2)
Taft 4-1 (12-6-1)
W. Hills 1-4 (7-9-3
COS 0-5 (4-11-1)