Grace Mensah knew that a free kick would go well before the ball hit the ground.
The St Joseph midfielder kicked the ball from the left of the penalty box, seven yards from the Santa Ynez goal. Mensah pounced before landing behind the net when the ball crossed the goal line in the air in the sixth minute on the first goal of the match.
Mensah’s goal gave the Knights a 4-1 victory over Santa Ynez at Jay Will Stadium in St Joseph on Tuesday night. The Knights (15-1-1, 6-1-1) clinched his sixth straight win to cement their lead in the Mountain League. Pirates he is 4-7-1, 2-4-1.
The Knights are rolling again after losing and drawing their first two league games after going 9-0 overall in league play.
“We had a lot of shots in the first two games and they didn’t come in,” Mensah said after his team won on Tuesday night. I think we went into the league with a bit of a soft mind, just thinking we could go out there and win.”
Shortly after Mensah’s first goal, the referee called out a foul on Santa Ynez goalkeeper Devin Hazard in a close game in the Pirates’ penalty box. Angered by Cole, Hazard drew a yellow card. But Mariah Lopez’s penalty kick was high.
Daisy Guerrero replaced Hazard in the Pirates’ goal and made a tough save at the end of the first half. However, the Pirates were later tagged for another foul in the box, this time by Isabella Ruiz, who successfully scored a penalty kick to give the Knights a 2–0 lead at halftime.
Mensah put a beautifully placed right-to-left kick into the net early in the second half from about ten yards out. Guerrero was upset after a few minutes, and Hazard returned.
Hazard saved St. Joseph’s shot, but the ball went past her and Chanel Aceves scrambled in front of the net to knock the ball in for St. Joseph’s final game.
With just under 13 minutes remaining, a Saint Joseph defender attempted to clear a Santa Ynez Kiera Hazard free-kick from about 45 yards out, but the ball hit the defender’s head and flew backwards. Back-up Saint Joseph his goalkeeper, Annie Hable, had no chance of reaching the ball and the final score of the game, an own against the Knights, went into the net for the goal.
The Knights didn’t completely dominate possession time, but they did have the ball most of the time. Mensah and Elisabeth Vega, who signed with Oregon last fall, effectively quarterbacked St. Joseph’s offense with the help of Lewis. Vega assisted St. Joseph on his one goal in the second half, and Trinity his Fuller assisted on another.
Vega retired with an injury but looked fine on the bench after that.
Santa Ynez put good pressure, mostly in the first half, but Fuller, Marissa Jordan and Abigail Zwilling led the St. Joseph defense, denying most of Santa Ynez’s attacks.
Starting St Joseph goalkeeper Remy Waldron scored another solid goal for the Knights. She made nine saves. Hazard made two saves from close range to keep his team in contention in the first half.
Santa Ynez will play Cabrillo Thursday night at 6 p.m. and host Cabrillo in Friday night’s game. St. Joseph hosts Santa Maria, who tied the Knights in the first round, at 6 p.m. Friday night.
Makayla Figuereo scored 24 points to lead the Braves (9-12, 6-2) to an away Ocean League title.
Figuereo filled six of his 10 3-point shots. Kyrie Garcia scored 12 with the Braves and he stole 5, Liz his Alcantara his 6 and Milan Mangino his 4.
Tara Terones had 8 assists, 6 steals and 4 rebounds for the Braves. The Pirates he fell 7-14, 1-6.
Lompoc will host San Luis Obispo on Friday night at 6:30pm before traveling to Paso Robles on Monday at 6:30pm. League match. Santa Ynez will host Paso Robles on Friday night and play Monday night at Templeton at 6:30 PM.
Lompoc 4, Pioneer Valley 0
Avi Angiano scored all the goals as the Braves (5-10, 3-4) beat the Panthers (2-16-1, 1-6) in the Ocean League.
Lompoc will host Nipomo on Friday at 6pm and play Mission Prep next Monday night at 5:30pm. The Pioneer Valley will play Templeton at home on Friday night and travel to Morro Bay for his game on the road Monday. Both games start at 18:00.
Lompoc 1, San Luis Obispo 1
A Mountain League game in which Misa Carvajal scored an assist from Andre Herrera for the Braves (5-7-3, 2-4-3) to tie the Tigers (7-3-4, 3-1-2).
The Braves will take on Lompoc Valley rivals Cabrillo at 6:45 p.m. Friday night and Arroyo Grande on Tuesday night at 6:00 p.m.
Lorenzo Martinez scored 29 points, Chase Overman scored 15, and the Braves (10-9-4-4) beat the Warriors (10-10-4-4) to break the Mountain League record.
The Braves will face Lompoc Valley rivals Cabrillo on Friday night at 6:30 PM and Arroyo Grande on Monday at 6:30 PM. Righetti will perform at the Arroyo Grande on Friday night and host St. Joseph on Monday night. Both games are scheduled to start at 18:30.