The Garden City Community College women’s soccer team ended a 17-match losing skid with a 1-0 win over Pratt on Saturday at Broncbuster Stadium. The losing streak included an 0-15 2017 season and an 0-2 start to this season, but Maria Gasca’s goal in the 50th minute led the Busters to the victory.
Following the women’s lead, the Buster men got a clean sheet of their own in the nightcap Saturday, downing Pratt, 2-0.
Head coach Scott Westbrook’s first season at the helm of the Buster women ended 0-15, with few matches that were even close.
After a 4-0 and 5-2 losses to begin the year, the Busters (1-2, 1-0) finally got over the hump, shutting out the Beavers (2-2, 0-1) and holding them to just two shots.
“We’re a better team (than a year ago), and we still have a lot of things to work on,” Westbrook said. “We still need another year of recruiting … but I think what you’re seeing right now is building blocks. Whether we have more wins coming to us or not, we’re definitely a more competitive team.”
The Busters got the goal in the 50th minute, when a rebound deflected to Gasca at the top of the 18-yard box and he sent a left-footed strike into the bottom corner for the 1-0 lead.
From there, it was about holding onto the lead.
“We changed to a five-back system in the final 10 minutes or so to protect the lead,” Westbrook said, “and we moved Goretti (Mendez) back to sweep.”
Trying to end the skid did not come without some stress.
“They (Pratt) do have a few girls up top who are dangerous — they’re fast,” Westbrook said.
But the Busters held on.
“The girls were excited. They were really happy, especially the girls who were here all last year,” Westbrook said.
GCCC men strike early
It took just six minutes for the Buster men to strike twice against the visiting Beavers, with Remi Emeriau scoring off an assist from Abdoulaye Agyen in the third minute, and then Agyen got his own goal three minutes later.
Despite racking up 23 shots, and hitting the post a few more times, that was all the scoring the Busters (3-1, 1-0) could manage. Still, with seven saves from goalkeeper Matt Tomlinson and holding the Beavers (2-2, 0-1) to eight shots, the Busters held on for the win.
“We came out like gangbusters,” Westbrook said. “I’ve been saying for awhile that this is a solid team. I honestly believe that they have the capability to go as far as they want to go this year.”
Agyen proved his ability to create scoring chances early, when he broke down the right side and drew a defender and the keeper towards him, just to send a low cross into Emeriau for the tap-in goal.
“Abdoulaye is a man,” Westbrook said of his freshman from France. “He sets a lot of things up for people.”
Outside of the goal he scored in the sixth minute, as well, Agyen also hit the post in the match.
“He probably should have had three goals by the end of the game,” Westbrook said. “We’ve got a good thing going right now.”
That includes Garden City product Genaro Jesus Macias, who assisted on Agyen’s goal.
“That kid is lightning,” Westbrook said. “He’s fast, he’s strong and he’s really good … He’s one of the top players on our team.”
Contact J. Levi Burnfin at firstname.lastname@example.org.