The UCI Women’s Soccer team tied with the Loyola Marymount University Lions 0-0 on Friday, Sept. 24. But despite the loss, the Anteater squad seemed more concerned with the performance they gave as opposed to the upset of another tie, bringing their record to 3-4-2.
Senior defender and captain Tara Weldon commented on the scoreless tie, saying, ‘Our team played a good game. That’s how soccer is sometimes. Next time, we’ve got to put the ball in the back of the net.’
The first half of the game was filled with a lot of tension on the field and stands. Athletes and spectators alike were hungry for points. As the first half came to an end, it became clear to everyone that both teams were playing with incredible defense and offense, making it hard to score on either side.
The 15-minute break rejuvenated the Anteaters. Sophomore midfielder Britney Webster, who is currently one of two leading scorers for UCI this season, powered the sixth shot down the field at Loyola goalie Joslyn Slovek. Slovek saved the Lions, making one of five saves for the evening.
After 58 minutes, the game intensified as Loyola took a shot at Welliver. Sophomore forward Lauryn Birkinshaw responded by taking three consecutive shots at the net, one of which skimmed the edge of the goal. A series of disappointed sighs followed every missed shot made on the field.
As the game went into two sudden death victories, neither team was able to put a shot in the goal, making the game a complete shutout on both sides.
UC Irvine’s Women’s Soccer Head Coach Marine Cano said, ‘Our game plan was down to a T. We shut down all of their scorers. We played the game to make quality shots and had just as much of the game as they did. Defensively, it was one of the best performances UCI’s Women’s Soccer [team] has ever produced.’
Birkinshaw, who led the evening with six shots, also felt incredibly confident about the performance despite the tie.
‘We work so hard in practice. There’s never a day when we don’t give 100 percent. I can trust everyone on my team. We as a team have such a great chemistry and that’s what’s important,’ Birkinshaw said.
Welliver pulled out of the game with a victory of her own. She picked up her third shutout of the season, sending her into first place in the Big West with 51 saves for the year. She is now a part of a four-way tie for the Big West lead in shutouts.
Although the Anteaters didn’t take the game, they are definitely warmed up for Sunday’s game against the USC Trojans.
Cano said, ‘We needed a big upset. I’m sorry it didn’t come tonight, but Sunday we’ll be prepared. We had three outstanding performances by senior [midfielder] Gina Scachetti, sophomore [midfielder] Dayna Knowles and [sophomore] Lauryn Birkinshaw. We played so well, we deserved a goal. The whole team was tremendous, even the bench was supportive. We just need to carry it over to Sunday. If so, we’ll come out on top.’
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