SANTA ANA - The Dons ended Orange Empire Conference competition with a 10-9 loss to Saddleback College despite leading most of the game.
Saddleback (3-15, 1-5) opened scoring with a goal by Shelby Schmidt before the Dons (1-16, 0-6) tied the match with a goal from Darcy Aragon. The Gauchos retook the lead about a minute later before Nikole Facklam pulled the Dons into a tie once again at 2-2.
The two teams traded goals once more with Melissa Klaeb scoring for Saddleback and Facklam scoring for the Dons before Aragon put the Dons up 4-3 at the end of the first quarter.
Candice Saylors extended the Dons lead to 5-3 to start the second quarter before Sarah Tennis pulled the Gauchos within one at 5-4. Jasmin Pannier's goal put the Dons up 6-4 before Gina Hewitt cut into the Dons lead, sending the game into the half at 6-5.
The teams played the third quarter even with two goals apiece. Camille Poissonnier tied the game for Saddleback at 6-6 before Facklam put the Dons up 7-6. Tennis added her second goal of the game to tie it up at 7-7 with Facklam again breaking the tie, giving the Dons an 8-7 lead headed into the final frame.
Schmidt opened the fourth quarter the same way she did the first, with a goal, this time tying the match at 8-8 before Facklam gave the Dons their final lead of the game at 9-8. Poissonnier tied the game at 9-9 with 5:22 left before scoring the game-winner with 3:35 left in the match.