IVC faces another challenging season

Lasers women's soccer team will have another uphill battle in the extremely tough Orange Empire Conference.

September 10, 2011|By Joe Haakenson, Special to the Daily Pilot

"It isn't whether you win or lose, it's how you play the game" is an old sports adage, maybe outdated in today's "win-at-all-costs" era.

But at Irvine Valley College, women's soccer Coach Simon Davies is old school. He has to be.

The Lasers play in the extremely tough Orange Empire Conference in the competitive Southern California area. So after a year in which his team went 5-16, including 3-13 in the conference, Davies keeps it all in perspective.

Ask Davies how he will turn around the fortunes of his club and he jokes: "Pray harder to the soccer gods."


Kidding aside, Davies finds success outside of the win-loss columns.

"There's not an equal playing field, in our conference in particular," said Davies, in his eighth season leading the program. "There are a couple of teams who are way stronger than everyone else. If you (judge success) on wins and losses, it can be misleading.

"For me, if the team is competitive and we have that feel-good factor at the end of the season, we'll be a success. Don't get me wrong, we want to win, but if you put everything on wins and losses, you might be disappointed."

Two of the conference's top programs are Santiago Canyon, which went 18-1-1 last year, and Cypress College, which went 17-1-3.

To make matters tougher on the Lasers, last year's leading scorer Kristy Krueger has finished her stay at IVC. But they do have three returning starters in Kathryn Moyneur, Stephanie Horwitz and Madison Lamont.

The Lasers lost two of their first three games, but Moyneur has been impressive, scoring three of the team's four goals.

"If she maintains that the rest of the season, she'll be an ideal replacement (for Krueger)," Davies said. "Obviously, as returning players there's a little bit more maturity and you hope they'll set a good example for the incoming players."

Two of the Lasers' top newcomers are goalkeeper Amanda Rashtian from Tesoro High and Amy Marchi from El Toro. In the Lasers' first win of the season, Marchi scored a goal and Rashtian pitched a shutout in a 3-0 win over West L.A.

"Amanda's done really well," Davies said. "She seems to be getting better with every game. She's enthusiastic and has natural ability.

"You've got to have a certain mentality to play goalkeeper, you've got to have a strong personality. She doesn't hide, she's quite vocal and she's not intimidated at all."

While the Lasers have some talent, they'll need to stay healthy to have a chance.

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