After holding a slim 1-0 lead for most of the game, the Pirates' women's soccer team saw victory slip away in the 81st minute when host Los Angeles Pierce netted a goal to level the score. VC freshman Jacky Espinosa was not going to let the win get away, however, as she scored a goal, and assisted another in the final minutes of play to lead the Pirates to a 3-1 triumph over the Brahmas Yareli Vasquez and Jacqueline Rivera also scored for VC (9-4-2, 4-2), who ends the first round of Western State Conference play just a point out of first place.
On a hot day in Woodland Hills, the Pirates took the early lead when Vasquez scored off Espinosa's assist in the 5th minute. The score would remain 1-0 for almost the entirety of the match.
Pierce broke through with a goal in the 81st minute and a draw seemed imminent as the time drew long.
Espinosa and the Pirates were not to be denied, however, as she took an assist from Sammy Zanini and pulled VC ahead with a goal four minutes later. Two minutes after that, VC added an insurance goal as Espinosa assisted a score by Rivera to set the final 3-1 result.
Ventura had 12 shots in the game with nine on frame. Pirate goalie Aracely Castro had two saves.
With one round of WSC North Division play complete, Cuesta and Santa Barbara each totaled 13 points with 4-1-1 records. Ventura is close behind with 12 points and a 4-2 mark while Moorpark and Hancock each had eight points with 2-2-2 records.
VC hosts Santa Barbara to begin the next round of conference play on Friday Oct. 25. The ball will roll at 7:00 pm at the VC Sportsplex.