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Women's Soccer: VU rolls in GSAC semis

No. 5-ranked Lions score early and cruise to 11th straight win, advance to face Biola in tournament title game on Nov. 9.

November 02, 2012|By Barry Faulkner

COSTA MESA — The big-wave surf spot Mavericks is gaining greater fame these days as the subject of a major motion picture. But just more than 400 miles south of the cascading break, the Vanguard University women's soccer team continues to regularly drop into a forceful surge of its own.

"I'm a firm believer that we're riding a wave right now and I don't see it crashing," Vanguard Coach Randy Dodge said after his team extended its winning streak to 11 with a 2-0 triumph over visiting The Master's in the semifinals of the Golden State Athletic Conference Tournament on Friday.

The Lions (15-2), ranked No. 5 in the NAIA Top 25, advance to face Biola in the tournament title game on Nov. 9 at Vanguard, after which they will continue on to the NAIA Tournament. Vanguard finished 10-0 in the GSAC regular season to earn the No. 1 seed and a bye into the conference tournament semifinals.

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No. 3-seeded Biola upset No. 2-seeded and No. 14-ranked Westmont, 2-1, in the other semifinal Friday.

"We gave up one goal in conference [play, in a 2-1 win at Biola on Oct. 13] and now we get to play that team again," Dodge said. "It will be interesting."

The outcome was less interesting Friday, when Vanguard junior forward Jordan Davidson caught the Mustangs' goalie coming off her line and arched a bounding shot over the keeper to open the scoring in the 14th minute.

Amanda Couch, whom Dodge credits as one of several outstanding senior leaders, earned the assist on Davidson's team-leading 15th goal of the season. It was Couch's team-best 11th assist.

Vanguard, which amassed a 17-6 advantage in shots, scored again in the 39th minute when junior forward Kayla Arenas poked in a rebound from close range for her ninth goal of the season.

The two goals upped Vanguard's scoring advantage to 37-1 during the 11-game win streak. The Lions have outscored opponents, 55-6, this season and have an eye-popping 314-93 edge in shots.

"We have great chemistry and we have great players," said Dodge, in his seventh season. "And we have fantastic leadership from players who have been starters in our program for four years. We brought in some junior college kids like Davidson, who is probably one of the three best players in the country, and we start four underclassmen, too."

Sophomore Makenna Yarbor was among those leading the future standouts, filling in at center back for senior captain Lauren Evans, who had an appendectomy Friday morning, Dodge said.

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