A short-staffed roster was just one of the Wolf Pack soccer team’s disadvantages going into West’s second Tri-City Athletic League contest against St. Mary’s Thursday in Steve Lopez Stadium.
The Wolf Pack (3-4-1) brought just 12 players to a matchup with the perennial league-leading Rams (14-2-1), who displayed speed, ball control and a passing game that would have been tough to contend with under the best of circumstances. West Coach Abel Dorado said he was missing four players from a roster that had only 16 players to start with.
The first half saw St. Mary’s putting nearly constant pressure on West’s goal. Wolf Pack goal keeper Paige Moore had five saves, but the Rams ended up scoring seven goals, including a couple where they got clear shots after sprinting past West’s defenders. Megan Mata and Jessica Cervantes each scored two for St. Mary’s, and Marisa Sanchez, Fiona Kennedy and Jamie Flores each scored one.
With the Pack’s usual forward Jasmine Schultz out for the day, West’s Anica Celestine and Cheri Wilson led the Wolf Pack offense and got close a few times, but the speed of the Rams’ defenders denied West any clear shots in the first half. Sweeper Abby Crandall switched to offense in the second half and got the ball close a few times on cross shots and also made shots on West’s free kicks.
Cervantes scored one more for St. Mary’s at the start of the second half, but after that the Wolf Pack was able to turn away the Rams’ attacks, with Moore only having to block two St. Mary’s shots.
West’s freshman/sophomore teams also lost to St. Mary’s 8-0 after the Rams had a 5-0 lead at the half.