Sept. 2, 2017
Through two weeks and five games, The Master’s University women’s soccer team has effectively taken a red marker to the NAIA preseason rankings, using depth and an electric offense to all but literally edit the nation’s top 25.
The Mustangs have beaten the nation’s No. 7 team, No. 8 team and, Saturday night at College of the Canyons, No. 19 team, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (Arizona).
The Master’s rode two goals from junior Jasmine Parada to a 5-1 win over the visiting Eagles and remained unbeaten after looking down the barrel of a brutal non-conference schedule to begin the year.
The Mustangs (5-0), who received votes in the preseason poll, have outscored their opponents 22-4 overall.
“I think we’re the deepest team I’ve ever had,” said 11-year coach Curtis Lewis. “… I think we’re just wearing people down. The last two games we’ve scored a minute into the second half, and that just mentally breaks opponents.”
In both games, it was Parada who did the breaking.
Parada’s goal in the 47th minute Saturday came on a one-touch assist from Sarah Stead deep inside Embry-Riddle’s defensive third.
A minute later, Parada struck again — this time on a line drive from 17 yards out.
“Are you kidding me? When she turned and set it up, left foot, upper 90 of the goal, (that was amazing),” Lewis said of the second score, which all but secured a game that was at times touch and go in the first half.
The Eagles (2-1) created several dangerous chances in the opening frame. But defenders Kayla Peterson and Taylor Rowden and goalkeeper Kaylee Poffek made enough plays to prevent a goal.
On offense, Lynnae George started the scoring for The Master’s, booting a ball from outside the 18-yard box in the 17th minute.
Mustang Shelby Willis scored from long range, too — this one coming in the 39th minute, around the time a fan broke out a drum and filled the air with something like music.
The real party, however, started in the second half.
After Parada’s pair of scores, Hannah Bahr made it 5-0 in the 76th minute, as her kick deflected off the arms of a lunging keeper, off the bottom of the crossbar and down into the goal.
It capped the scoring on a night when Lewis played all 23 of his eligible field players. It was the third time in five games, he’s played everyone.
“We’re kind of subbing like hockey almost,” Lewis said. “Literally, I call it line one and line two, and they play so differently. It’s almost like, you've adjusted to one and a new line comes in, and it’s completely different personnel, and it sets teams off a little bit and by the time they figure it out, our new line is in.”
Mustang Hailey Gomillion assisted on two goals Saturday. Parada and George each had one assist, and Poffek had three saves.
The Mustangs will be back in action Monday at home against No. 21 Kansas Wesleyan.
The game is scheduled to start at 11:30 a.m.