SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Fresh off a two goal victory against the ninth ranked team in the country, the #7 Lions (10-3, 6-0) squared off against their sixth opponent ranked inside the Top 13 of the NAIA Coaches' Top 25 Poll. The weekend showdown was at #6 Westmont College (10-2-1, 4-1-1) which has routinely been a difficult spot for visitors to escape with a win. Vanguard was led to victory by the freshman phenom Anna Montemor (FR/Snohomish, WA) who scored the game winning goal for the Blue and Gold in the 51st minute.
From the jump, the Pride was the aggressor in the contest drawing a 5-0 edge in corner kicks taken in the first half as well as a 6-2 difference in shots taken. During the first 45 minutes of play, the Westmont goalkeeper Gabi Haw had to stop four shots to preserve the 0-0 score at the intermission while Vanguard's Amanda Valentine (JR/Livermore, CA) was not tested.
After the halftime break, the Blue and Gold went back onto the pitch at Thornington Field and broke the scoreless game at the 50:26 mark as Montemor dribbled the ball from the corner and fired it off a Westmont defender and into the back of the net. From that point, the Lions would need to come up with three key saves to escape with a ninth straight victory overall and a victory at Westmont for the first time since September 2012. Two of the saves were thanks to the gloves of Valentine and the other was cleared off the line by Haley Bruce (JR/San Diego, CA).
One of the major factors in the victory was depth the Lions used as Westmont chose to utilize only three substitutes while Vanguard played 19 total players ranging from 11 minutes to the full 90. The Warriors had seven players stay on the pitch for the entire contest. Montemor and Kiera Muniz (JR/Stockton, CA) tallied five total shots and put four of them on frame, which was more than the Warriors as a team. Rayven Hernandez (SR/Rancho Santa Margarita, CA), Kim Benner (SO/Chino, CA), and Erica Wadell (SR/Yucaipa, CA) as chimed in with two shots for the Pride.
Next Match: Saturday, October 14 at 12:00 PM at Hope International