(Editor's note: RMC Athletics release)
FULLERTON, Calif. – A goal from Rocky Mountain College's Tiara Duford nearly a minute and a half into Rocky's season ignited a 6-3 win for the Battlin' Bears against Hope International University.
Duford scored Rocky's (1-0, 0-0 CCC) first goal of the season off an assist from Lauryn Gamache with just one minute and 34 seconds having passed in the game. Gamache soon knocked in a goal of her own in the 15th minute to put the Battlin' Bears up by two early.
Hope International's (0-1,0-0 GSAC) Cassie Soto knocked in an unassisted goal during the 21st minute to draw the game within one. Rocky's Mhari Smith quickly responded with a goal in the 31st minute, but the Royals still kept the pressure on. Denise Rodriguez scored off a Gissell Avila assist just two minutes later.
Rocky led 3-2 at the half with a 7-3 shot advantage through 45 minutes.
Rocky's Amber Pearson scored three minutes into the second period.
Denise Rodriguez scored off an assist from Sukanya Sukpham in the 53rd minute for Hope International's last goal of the game.
Rocky clinched the win with two late goals. Hannah Borgel scored in the 59th minute while Tanja Staben scored the final goal in the 79th minute. The Battlin' Bears secured a 6-3 victory in their season opener.
Rocky finished with a 12-8 shot advantage over the Royals.
Maia Wetzel had two saves and three goals allowed for the Battlin' Bears. Hope International's Amber Vasconcellos had six goals allowed and one save.
Meanwhile, Hope International University beat 8th-ranked Rocky2-1 in the men's match.
The Royals (3-0, 0-0 GSAC) scored early with an unassisted goal from Omar Moralez in the 12th minute. Rocky's (0-1, 0-0 CCC) Nolan Sherwood responded with the Battlin' Bears' only goal of the day in the 23rd minute to tie the game at 1-1.
The game remained tied at the half. It wasn't until late in the second period that the Royals would clinch the win with a goal by Christopher Ribet in the 82nd minute.
Kristofer Wennin had one save and two goals allowed for the Battlin' Bears. Hope International's Oscar Sierra had one goal allowed and four saves.
The Royals had a 12-10 shot advantage over the Battlin' Bears.
Both Battlin' Bears will stay in California to play Westmont College on Saturday.