Playing one of the top teams in Northern California, the Modesto Junior College women's soccer team finally looked mortal Friday.
The Pirates lost their first home game in two years, 3-1 to American River College, in a battle of previously undefeated teams. Modesto's Lucero Villasenor scored on a cross pass from Jackie Ibanez with about 15 minutes to play to avoid the shutout.
"They had a confidence in them," MJC coach Steve Aristotelous said of the visitors. "They're a strong, physical, fast team. If you don't play that way, it's over before it starts."
The No. 4 Beavers (9-0, 2-0 Big 8) took a 2-0 lead in the first half while the No. 2 Pirates (7-1-1, 1-1 Big 8) were shaken by the sudden loss of their starting goalkeeper.
Julie Ross dislocated a knee during warm-ups and freshman Dana White found out earlier in the day she had a stress fracture in her left hip.
That left Lauren Bean, who split time with Ross last season but tore the anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee just before the season began. Bean had begun making arrangements for the second ACL surgery of her career, and was surprised to see Ross on the trainer's table when she arrived at the MJC West Campus field just before the game.
Seeing Ross play in pain Friday prompted Bean to give up redshirting this season and get back in the box. She entered the game, playing for the first time in six weeks, after American River scored its final goal early in the second half.
"We're good this year and I don't want the fact that we don't have a keeper to jeopardize that," Bean said. "I don't want Julie to play hurt. I feel good. I'll just put surgery off."
JC Men's Soccer
That's the last time Monares played with MJC, when the team was ranked third in the nation.
Hobbled by a sprained right ankle, Monares didn't practice much this week.
He said, "Once I got on the field, the pain wasn't really there."
Monares' last goal came on a breakaway with about five minutes to play. He said he had the same opportunity to score against Chabot last week, but didn't finish like he did Friday.
College Men's Soccer
College Women's Soccer
Debbie Vander Schaaf led the Warriors with 14 kills, and Difani said Karly Van Foeken and Nicole Musso "had pivotal blocks at big moments."
Bee staff contributed to this report.