Lady Vaqs fight off Cougars, score early season victory

Staff Report

Mackenzie Mee-Lee answered the call at both ends of the field as the Lady Vaqueros soccer team claimed a regular season-opening 2-1 win at Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo on Friday.
Mee-Lee, a starting forward, scored both of the team’s goals in the first half. She then volunteered to take over at goalkeeper when starter Melody Uribe suffered a hyper-extended right elbow with less than ten minutes left in the opening period. Mee-Lee made three stops to preserve the victory.
“[Cuesta] is a very hard place to play,” said Coach Brent Gonsalves, noting the presence of a hyped-up crowd. “Walking away with a victory on the road to open league was huge for us.”
The team has a bye week coming up after Tuesday’s match with Allan Hancock College, so Uribe, the only true goalkeeper on the roster, should only miss one game.
Earlier in the week, forward Kelly Ulm turned a hat trick with three goals and Uribe posted a shutout in goal as the Lady Vaqueros ended their exhibition season on a high note with a decisive 6-0 win against Santa Monica College September 21.
Coach Gonsalves credited the victory to the ladies playing with better team chemistry and working together rather than focusing on individual efforts. To that end, Sydney Machado chipped in with two goals and Marisa Kagan added one against an overwhelmed opponent.
Despite the strong performance, team leaders recognize that there are still plenty of improvements to be made.
“We are ready to win,” says Ulm. But, she added, the team needs to play with more intensity, treating each game as though it is its last.
Gonsalves was pleased with his team’s performance, but not content. “Although the girls played great,” the sixth-year skipper said, “the opponent we faced today was not strong enough to gauge whether or not our team is ready for the upcoming division games.”