DANVILLE, Calif. -- The Saint Mary's women's soccer team opened its spring season last weekend with a pair of solid performances against San Jose State and UC Santa Barbara at Cytomax Fields.
In the opening game, Jordan Marada scored on a free kick from 23-yards out to give SMC a 1-1 draw against the Spartans. Marada was the team's leading scorer in the fall and was a first-team all-WCC selection as a freshman. Redshirt freshman goalkeeper Maya Matsumoto, making her SMC debut, played a solid shutout second half with three saves to secure the tie.
In the second game, Saint Mary's came from a goal down to earn an impressive 2-1 victory. After giving up the first goal of the game to fall behind, Tessa Nicolaides gathered a pass from Ashley Soro and blasted a shot from 25 yards out into the top corner of the goal to tie the game.
Later in the game, redshirt freshman Lauren McQuiston maneuvered herself behind the UCSB defense and was brought down by the Gauchos' goalkeeper. Jordan Marada calmly scored the game-winner on the ensuing penalty kick.
"We played well this weekend," said head coach Kai Edwards. "We need to break the film down and really take a look at some of the things we need to work on. We will drill to resolve our weaknesses training so they can be habits and not just a sometimes thing.
"It was good to see the team really work as a unit and solve problem by thinking, evaluating, re-evaluating and working together to achieve success.
"UCSB made some changes and really put us on our heels but we relaxed and weathered the storm and really went after them in the 2nd half. This is a good first step and we are excited to grow from these games and implement want we learn in our next match."
The Gaels return to action on March 16 at 7:30 p.m. against East Bay rival Cal at Cytomax Fields.