Two long-time rivals started a new chapter in their history Friday afternoon, as San Bernardino Valley College's women's soccer team hosted Chaffey College for the first time in the newly formed Inland Empire Athletic Conference.
Both teams came into the game with seven wins, both ranked in the top 20 in the state poll with the added wrinkle that SBVC knocked the Panthers from the playoffs last season by tying the game in stoppage time and a victory in penalty kicks.
This time there would be no late-game drama, as the Wolverines got two second half goals to blank the Panthers 2-0, and sit alone atop the table in the IEAC.
The first half saw both teams work to take control of the game. Both teams had chances, with Chaffey having two shots cleared off the line by defenders in the 30th minute after a corner kick bounced around in the SBVC penalty area.
The Wolverines finally found their breakthrough moment in the 58th minute. With the ball in the Chaffey end, Eliana Martinez pushed the ball to Nayeli Sandoval with her back to the goal. The sophomore from Bloomington settled the bouncing ball and turned, found a small opening and fired into the upper right corner of the goal past a diving Kelsie Doll - who may have been partially screened on the play.
With Chaffey pressing the attack, SBVC doubled its lead in the 75th minute. Karen Jacobs sent a ball past the Panthers' defense and Aaliyah Rubio got behind the defense for a breakaway. She made a move around Doll and tucked the ball into the net for the 2-0 lead.
On the other end, Taylor Milner stopped all nine shots Chaffey fired at the goal for her second win of the year.