COSTA MESA -- The Orange Coast College women's soccer team took on a tough Cypress College squad and nearly pulled off the upset win, but settled for a 1-1 draw with the visiting Chargers on Friday at the OCC Soccer Complex.
In a battle of two teams in the top-10 amongst all teams in the state, the fourth-ranked Pirates (9-2-2, 2-2-1 in the Orange Empire Conference), battled the Chargers (8-1-2, 4-1-1) to a scoreless tie through the first 45 minutes, but grabbed a 1-0 advantage when Lily Carroll won a loose-ball battle and dribbled the ball deep into Cypress territory. She then slipped a pass to a wide-open Sydney Powell and the freshman forward didn't miss as she found the back of the net in the 50th minute to put OCC ahead, 1-0.
Cypress carried the majority of the action onto the Coast side of the field, but the Pirate defense was up to the task, keeping the ball out of danger. When it was sent to the net, goalkeeper Jessica Gardner (eight saves) stepped up and made some big stops.
Unfortunately for the Pirates, a foul was called by the referee inside the OCC scoring box, which resulted in a penalty-shot opportunity and Charger striker Jassmin Ortiz didn't miss, tying the match in the 62nd minute of play.
Siriana Gudino earned a pair of saves for Cypress, while Gardner kept the inspired Chargers off of the scoreboard the rest of the way.
OCC will return to action on Monday at Fullerton College (do-over from last week's weather halted match), beginning at 3 p.m. and will return home to host Golden West on Tuesday, also at 3 p.m.