SeaLions Shut Out Beach
June 11, 2012
The undefeated San Diego SeaLions grabbed their fifth straight win on the road Sunday night against Beach FC at Cal State Dominguez Hills’ Toro Stadium. It was their third straight win in the WPSL’s Pacific South division. The team is currently in first place with a 3-0-0 record.
The home side came out strong, dominating possession, and keeping the SeaLions in their defensive end for the majority of the first half. Beach had several shots on goal, but couldn’t put anything past SeaLions’ keeper Kaycee Gunion who kept her team in the game.
The play shifted dramatically in the second half. The SeaLions pushed back on Beach, slowly building an attack and maintaining possession. A free kick was awarded to the SeaLions in the 77th minute, just outside the 18-yard box. Center midfielder Rosie Tantillo took the kick, and bent it over the Beach wall and inside the near post to put the SeaLions up 1-0. A minute later, outside midfielder Shelby Murphy played a ball diagonally over the Beach defense to forward Nikki Petracca, who coolly chipped it over onrushing Beach goalie Sarah Cox and into the far side netting, making it 2-0 SeaLions.
“The ability to put away chances is what makes a championship team,” said SeaLions’ General Manager Amie Becker. “It took 77 minutes, but when the opportunities finally arose, we were able to finish them. I’m so proud of our players and our phenomenal coaching staff.”
A red card issued to former Atlanta Beat midfielder Megan Jesolva forced Beach to play a man down for the remaining few minutes of the game. Beach was unable to mount a counter attack, and the SeaLions went home with the shutout.
“We were really put to the test today,” remarked SeaLions’ Head Coach Jen Lalor-Nielsen. “Beach is a good, solid team, and they posed strong attacks against us in the first half. The will to succeed and play hard for one another grew as the game continued. In the 2nd half, we put away our opportunities and started to control the pace of the game. The goals by Rosie and Nikki were world-class, and Kaycee Gunion made some unbelievable saves that kept us in the entire match. It was a great emotional victory for us, and it was so encouraging to see the girls respond in such a passionate way.”
The SeaLions move to 3-0-0 on the season, while Beach FC drop to 1-1-0. The SeaLions return home to Cathedral Catholic High next Saturday and Sunday for back-to-back home games. They will play Blues on Saturday night at 7:30PM, and LA Vikings on Sunday at 2:00PM. Dads get in free to Sunday’s game in celebration of Father’s Day.