The installation of state-of-the-art field turf and LED stadium lights at the new College of the Canyons soccer facility is already paying dividends, as the women's and men's soccer programs combined for nine goals and two conference victories in the pair of inaugural games played on Oct. 18.
COC head coach Justin Lundin and the Lady Cougars were the first to see action on the new FieldTurf Revolution 360 playing surface and infill system — the same type of artificial turf utilized by Division I schools and professional sports franchises in the NFL and MLS.
After a ribbon cutting ceremony earlier in the afternoon, Canyons (9-3-1, 3-0) proceeded to erupt for six goals in a 6-0 shutout of Victor Valley College (6-4-2, 1-1-0). Included in that total was a second half hat trick from sophomore forward Jackie Mendez.
Mendez netted her first goal of the game just 18 seconds into the second half on an assist from sophomore Isabella Hochner, before also scoring in the 59th minute and 67th minute of play.
It was Phipps, a defender, who got the scoring started with an historic penalty kick in the 20th minute of play. In doing so she claimed the distinction of being the first player to score a goal on the college's new soccer field.
Balzer gave COC a 2-0 lead off an assist from Hochner in the 23rd minute, before freshman Taylor Lopez helped close out the first half with her unassisted goal in the 39th minute.
COC outshot the Rams 31-5, including an impressive 17 shots on goals.
Canyons has now blanked its opponent in four straight games dating back to Sept. 30. The Lady Cougars currently sit in first place of the Western State Conference, East Division.
"Playing in our new soccer facility for the first time was an amazing experience. The team played the best we have all season," said Lundin. "There was definitely a sense of excitement among the players and coaches."
— Story and photos by: Jesse Munoz/COC Sports Information