The LA Strikers stepped back onto the field Sunday, hosting the Santa Clarita Blue Heat at home, in the teams' second meeting of the season. This time, the Strikers were able to avenge their previous loss by beating Santa Clarita 2-1 at Occidental College, giving them their second home win of the campaign.
The Strikers were able to take the lead and hold onto it, as Kristy Moore opened the scoring in the 22nd minute, before Tanya Samarzich got the crucial security goal in the 55th minute. Melissa Fernandez set up both goals on the night. Santa Clarita tried to make it interesting, when Ana Borges scored in the 82nd minute, but the Strikers held off their opponents for the full three points.
Strikers General Manager Vanessa Valentine told The Goat Parade the following about the result: "The game on Sunday vs. Santa Clarita Blue Heat was a great win for us. We have been training extremely hard and it is always nice to be rewarded for the work we have been putting in. We have a big rivalry with the Blue Heat, [and with] them being another local team it is truly a battle for LA."
If it sounds like Moore has been on the scoresheet quite a bit lately, it's because she has. She has five goals on the season, including three in the last three games, and she currently ranks 3rd in the USL W-League overall in scoring. The former England international also ranks 6th leaguewide in points, with 10. Her teammate Samarzich is currently tied for 12th in points, with eight.
The win last week puts LA firmly in third place in the Western Conference, on 12 points. They trail second-place Pali Blues by seven points, but they also lead fourth-place Santa Clarita by five. Obviously, the goal is to make a push up the table in the final four matches of the season.
The first test comes Saturday, when the Strikers take on Pali in a true "six-pointer" in the first game of a doubleheader with Chivas USA's match against the New England Revolution. Valentine explains the significance of the game as well as the deal you can get if you want to support the Strikers and Chivas USA, all in one location:
"This Saturday is one of our biggest games of the season. We are playing our other LA rival the Pali Blues. They have only lost one game thus far and that loss was to us in the first game of the season. They are looking for redemption and we are looking to hand them their second loss of the season. This game will also be played at the StubHub Center at the Cal State Dominguez Hills Track and Field Stadium at 5:30 pm PT. We are partnering with Chivas USA for this game and offering a special 2 for 1 ticket price. For $20 you receive admission for both the LA Strikers game and then the Chivas USA game immediately following. Please check our website for details and tickets."
There's the deal, folks. Get out and support the Strikers on Saturday!
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