COSTA MESA -- A pair of second-half goals proved to be enough as the Orange Coast College women's soccer team pulled out a 2-1 win over visiting Saddleback on Tuesday in the Orange Empire Conference opener for both teams.
After scoreless first half, Coast (3-1-2 overall, 1-0-0 in OEC) took advantage of a favorable wind and pushed the majority of the action inside the Gauchos' section of the field. After a couple of close calls, OCC finally found the back of the net and grabbed the lead for good.
After a hard foul was called just outside the Saddleback box, OCC's Haley Auer chipped a perfect pass over the Gauchos' defensive wall to teammate Chatrina Skytte, who deflected a header past Saddleback goalkeeper Dz-Rae Jara in the 65th minute, putting the Pirates ahead, 1-0.
Coast, which held the Gauchos (3-1-1, 0-1-0) without a shot on goal for the majority of the second half, made it 2-0 when Jane McDonald ripped a free kick past the Saddleback wall and Jara in the 84th minute of play.
With a two-goal deficit to overcome, Saddleback picked up the pressure and in the 89th minute, Marisa Covarrubias took a pass from Gabby Grimm and scored to give the Gauchos a chance to even things up.
But the Pirates held their ground and Alison Marlow (three saves) made one final stop before time ran out.
Coast will travel to Santiago Canyon on Friday to take on the Hawks (3 p.m.) before returning to the OCC Soccer Complex on Friday, Sept. 22 against Irvine Valley (3 p.m.).