ATHERTON, Calif. – For an offense that had been relatively stagnant for the better part of the conference schedule, it certainly is impressive to see what Menlo College Women's Soccer has been up to since returning home. After scoring three goals against San Diego Christian on Thursday, the Oaks offense put up even more against another conference opponent, this time the Firestorm of Arizona Christian. Menlo entered the day tied with the Firestorm in the conference standings, but that would not be the case after Menlo scored four goals to earn a 4-0 shutout win. The Oaks are now 6-4-2 this season and 2-3-1 in conference play and Arizona Christian is 5-7-1 and 1-4-1 in GSAC games.
Menlo College wasted very little time getting on the board, and it was by a player who seems to be coming into her own. The Oaks applied offensive pressure early in the game but could not produce any shots until Sydney Richardson-Gorski took the ball up the wing all the way into the offensive zone and crossed one into the box for Amanda Nebozuk, who deposited a shot past Tahlia Miears from right in front. The goal was scored with 38:52 remaining in the opening half and immediately put Menlo up 1-0, and it represents the third goal of the year for Nebozuk, who also scored on Thursday. The day was then cut short for Miears after she left the game with some hard contact from a Menlo attacker, and was replaced by Mikaela Bushey. Alexis Von Schottenstein gave Bushey her first test in the net with a tough shot taken towards the top post from outside the box, but it was deflected away and out of harm's way. The Oaks pushed the lead up to two off a corner from Allissa Soriano that was perfectly headed in from the middle of the box by Rachel McCloskey with 16:10 to go to make it 2-0.
The second half saw the Firestorm come out with much more energy, knowing that they had some work to do to try and get back in the match and bring the game close. They were able to put some pressure on the Oaks and keeper Kaylin Swart, who had to make some of her trademark aggressive plays at the top of the box to keep Arizona Christian off the board. After dealing with a few sustained attacks that did not produce many shots, the Oaks were able to take one down the field and from Nina Lee, who found Alaina Kualapai in the center of the field, and she then found Von Schottenstein nearing the corner. She beat her defender and then fired a shot that was deflected by Bushey and trickled past her for the game's third goal with 29:56 left in the third. Not much action occurred until 6:22 left in the game, when Karla Uribe took the ball away on a goal kick and rifled one past Bushey for a goal, showing off the diverse and opportunistic Menlo offense working at its best. Menlo took a 4-0 lead and held onto it to help Swart earn her third shutout of the year.
Menlo College will only play in one conference match next week, and it will on the road on Saturday. The Oaks will take on the Warriors of William Jessup University at 11:00 AM in Rocklin.