Story and photo by Jesse Muñoz/COC Sports Information Director
LANCASTER, Calif.— College of the Canyons scored a 4-1 conference victory vs. host Antelope Valley College on Friday, in a contest which saw three Cougars with roots in the AV area make the biggest impact.
Canyons (7-5-3, 4-2-2) has now won four of last five outings and appears to be picking up steam with six regular season games remaining on the schedule.
The Cougars got on the board in the ninth minute with a nifty set-piece goal off the head of Lesly Cabrera. It was the second goal of the season for the freshman midfielder who attended Eastside High School in Lancaster. Maggie Maldonado was credited with the assist off the corner kick and Canyons was ahead 1-0.
Maldonado, who attended Pete Knight High School in Palmdale, remained active in the first half, eventually netting a header of her own in the 27th minute to put COC up 2-0. The scoring play, Maldonado's fourth of the year, came on a cross from Andrea Marrufo.
Marrufo and Maldonado are tied for the team lead with five assists each.
Canyons took a 2-0 lead into halftime but was not done recording highlight goals.
In the 55th minute it was freshman Araceli Castaneda, who attended Palmdale Aerospace Academy, with her first score of the game on a scorpion style kick that put the game at 3-0.
Later, Castaneda added to the total on an outside shot the beat the keeper to make it a 4-0 advantage. The goal was Castaneda's team-leading eight of the season, which ties for fourth in the Western State Conference (WSC).
AVC (7-6-2, 4-3-1) got its lone goal in the 81st minute on shot from Belinda Lira that narrowed things a bit at 4-1. Vittoria Cataldo was credited with the assist.
Aaliyah Lopez (6-5-3) earned the win in goal for Canyons with four saves in the game.
COC earned six corner kicks in the game, with AVC taking three.
Canyons and AVC played to a 1-1 draw in the first meeting of the season back on Oct. 1.
The Cougars are currently third in the WSC, South Division, one point ahead of AVC and five points behind second place Santa Monica College (9-3-3, 6-1-1). Citrus College (11-4, 8-0) leads the conference at 24 points.
COC will host a pair of conference home games this week with Bakersfield visiting town at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 29 and Santa Monica following at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 1.
Stay up to date on all this season's action by following the College of the Canyons Athletic department on social media at @COCathletics on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.