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News: Saavedra's Natural Hat Trick Gives Women's Soccer Upset Win Over Cerritos

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Cassandra Saavedra scored the natural hat trick (three goals in a row), all on header attempts, as the Pasadena City College women's soccer team upset state No. 3-ranked and nationally No. 4-rated Cerritos College, 4-2, Tuesday at Robinson Stadium. PCC defeated the Falcons for the first time since 2004, snapping a winless streak v. Cerritos of 13-0-3.

By beating the No. 1 team in the regional power ratings that determine postseason playoff spots, the Lancers all but insured themselves of making it into the Southern California Regional Playoffs for the first time since 2007. PCC was 18th in the power ratings going in, moved to No. 17 at about 6:15 p.m. tonight when the score was entered into the soccer ratings system. Eighteen teams make up this year's field. (editor's note--still No. 17 as of Wednesday morning, Nov. 7, at a 1.93 rating.

With one match remaining, Pasadena stayed in second place in the SCC at 7-2-4 and 11-4-5 overall. Conference first-place Cerritos is 15-2-2 and now 10-2-1 in conference games.

Just three minutes into the game, PCC cashed in when defender Danielle Busta's free kick drive from the 42-yard line took a bounce and Saavedra jumped to head in a short shot for a 1-0 Lancers' lead. In the 20th minute, Hallie White made a throw-in from the sideline facing the goalie box and Saavedra timed the set play for another header goal.

At the 61st minute, Lizbeth Rodriguez headed a shot that was saved by Cerritos goalie Maria Santoyo, but on the rebound, Saavedra put her head on it one more time as the ball trickled into the left corner of the net for her third goal of the game and 11th of the season.

Behind 3-0, Cerritos played a furious offensive style over the game's final 30 minutes and scored two goals in an eight-minute span. Lauren Nanez scored her 13th goal in the 62nd minute, then Gaby Zamarripa cut it to 3-2 on a goal in the 70th minute.

PCC would clinch it in the 78th minute when Vanessa Capra stole the ball at the 35-yard line and sent Nancy Nunez on a breakaway for her 13th goal.

Pasadena's defense was stellar in front of goalie Tatiana Sanchez, who also was brilliant in the PCC net. Sanchez made seven saves, none better than a diving stop of a short-range shot by Karina Sandoval in the 17th minute. White, Busta, Bianca Mercado, and Heather French kept traffic at a mininum in the Lancers' defensive zone.

Nunez hit the crossbar on a free kick from the top of the box in the 66th minute and Cerritos' Sandoval duplicated the feat at the same distance just nine minutes later.

PCC head coach Randy Lilavois let the victory soak in and was initially at a loss for words.

"Because the playoffs are set up the way they are based on the power ratings, I just knew we had to win this game," Lilavois said. "That's no easy feat considering it's been eight years since we last beat them. The players went out there and made it happen. We wanted it more than they did. I'm just so proud of their effort against great odds. It's the biggest win in my three years here."

Pasadena closes out the 2012 SCC season on Friday, November 9 when it hosts El Camino College-Compton Center. Kickoff is 5:30 p.m. under the lights at Robinson Stadium.

[Photo--Cassandra Saavedra (red jersey) in action during PCC's 4-2 victory over Cerritos College Tuesday at Robinson Stadium, image by Richard Quinton, sports information photographer.]

Release Date: 11/07/2012
Contact: Robert Lewis , Sports Information
Phone: (626) 585-7018
Email: rmlewis@pasadena.edu