Vikings pummel Pirates with late-game action

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Alicia Palma pursues a goal during the second half of the match against the Pirates.

Ryan Peters, Staff Writer

The Vikings blew the Pirates out of the water 3-0 in a conference match at home on Friday.

Last year the Modesto Pirates knocked DVC out of the playoffs, so for the returning players this was a game of redemption. DVC knew winning this game would be a boost for morale and put them in a good position for the rest of the season.

“This is the best way to start the weekend,” said coach Sam Liubicich.

The first half ended 0-0 and both teams went into half time on an equal footing. There was not a lot of breakout play by either team, and it was evident that both teams had respect for each other. It looked like it would be a tight game until the end.

Coach Mullins had different plans. Mullins said, “In the first half, the team played tentative. We talked about finding grit and determination at half time, and that the team that wants it more will win the game.”

The pep talk worked. Within two minutes of the second half, Kaity Echols provided a through ball that led to a goal by Lindsey Parscal. DVC struck again quickly, with another goal in two minutes by Bizzy Driscoll, assisted by Mariah Rodriguez. With less than 15 minutes left in the game, Alicia Palma scored a goal from a Katarina Gentry pass, securing the win for the Vikings.

The difference between the two halves was night and day. Haley Paxton set the tone for the second half by getting in some early solid tackles and breaking up anything that came her way. That tough play was contagious. Forward Wendy Magarin said, “When someone goes in hard like that, it spreads throughout the whole team.”

After the game, assistant coach Alex Lobban told the team that they were doing the simple things right. Lobban stated, “For a 20 minute period, they (Modesto) couldn’t even get near you.”

Coach Mullins felt that there were no big standouts in the game. Instead, she felt like Friday’s win was a team effort. Even the players that did not get much play time contributed to the win. Mullins explained, “Because we have such a deep squad, our practices and training is much more competitive.” This factor is starting to show, especially in the later moments of the game.

The Vikings have a long stretch of away games, playing Santa Rosa, Sierra, and American College before returning home on Oct. 23 to take on San Joaquin Delta at 3:30 p.m.