News Gc Christens Field With Impressive Effort - Garrett College
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Campus News

Octobr 10th, 2023

GC christens field with impressive effort

Lady Lakers drop competitive 1-0 contest to powerhouse Essex

lady lakers

Photo by Elizabeth Show
Garrett College goaltender Sara Tabuena rises up to hall in a crossing pass meant for Essex Knight Emma Scott (9) in Saturday's 1-0 loss to CCBC-Essex. The contest was the first to be played on the Lady Lakers' new turf field. Also pictured is GC's Hailei Parsons.

Home, sweet home.

The Lady Lakers have been the ultimate road warriors this fall, on the road for all games and practices as their turf field was being completed. It was certainly worth the wait as the Garrett College women's soccer team played a spirited match Saturday while dropping a 1-0 decision to visiting Community College of Baltimore County-Essex.

"We had fans here and the intensity on the team was much higher," said GC midfielder Allison Harrold. "I think it [playing on their home field] helped us come together as a team."

"It was good – everyone was hyped up – it was a real rush," GC midfielder Courtney Milner said of playing on the new turf field.

Essex head coach Stephen King – whose squad has lost just one Maryland Junior College Athletic Conference contest this season – praised the first-year Lady Lakers.

"It was a good, competitive match," said King. "Garrett was stronger than I expected. They were tough on us."

Garrett (1-7 overall, 0-6 league) kept the game close thanks in large part to goalie Sara Tabuena's performance. Tabuena stopped 11 of the Knights' 12 shots on goal, giving the Lady Lakers the opportunity to pull off an upset.

"Sara works her butt off at practice," said GC head coach Brandon Jackson. "She's shorter than most goalies, but her instincts and her knowledge of the game are impressive. She's got a very high soccer IQ."

The only Essex shot Tabuena didn't stop came midway through the first half. Dayann Cordero slid a pass to Ashlin Fuentes, who drilled a shot into the upper-left corner of the net for her seventh goal of the season.

Essex (4-3-2, 3-1-2) finished with a 15-4 shots advantage, but Jackson said the Lady Laker defense neutralized most of those opportunities.

"Only about four of those shots were within 15 yards [of the net]," said Jackson. "We want them to take long shots – we want to be compact in the middle."

Jackson noted the Knights' narrow 5-3 advantage in corner kicks kept the match close.

"We've tried to emphasize being competitive in corner kicks – and we were today," said Jackson.

Jackson said the Lady Lakers produced the consistency he's been seeking this season.

"We played a full 90 minutes maybe for the first time this season," he said.

Jackson saw Saturday's contest as bigger than just a single women's soccer game.

"This field – it would never have happened without our great facilities staff," said Jackson. "[Director of Campus Facilities] Chris Painter and his whole staff were committed to getting us on our field as soon as possible.

"The baseball team has been great, too," added Jackson, referring to the players' assistance in moving the fencing at the combined baseball/softball/soccer field. "We couldn't have done this without them."

Jackson said he saw "three Garrett College Facilities Department staff members and their families at the game."

"Everyone's in this together," said Jackson. "This field is more than just a soccer field – it's a community resource – just a fantastic [soccer] pitch.

"I love GC. I love the team we've pulled together," said Jackson. "This is the energy we've been waiting for. We've been road warriors all fall – I think the players were excited for today."

Most of the Lady Lakers' offensive opportunities came in the second half, with the wind in their favor.

"The wind was a big advantage in the second half," said Jackson. "We got the ball in the final third, they started to make runs, see the different channels that were opening.

"We had Essex frustrated – and Essex is one of those teams that's been a region powerhouse for years," added Jackson.