The UC Irvine women’s soccer team shut out San Francisco 2-0 Friday night at Anteater Stadium. After failing to stop Saint Mary’s last week in overtime, the Anteaters bounced back with a definitive victory to improve to a record of 5-5-0.
The Anteaters gained their momentum when sophomore standout Tanya Taylor scored on a rebound off a shot from junior Kate Berrini in the 39th minute. This was Tanya Taylor’s second goal of the season.
“Taylor tonight was unbelievable. She’s creating so much opportunity for us. She’s one of the best players I’ve seen this season on any team — she’s so dangerous and so unpredictable,” said Head Coach Scott Juniper.
In the second half, the Anteaters obtained their second goal in an unusual fashion. Berrini crossed the ball from the left corner into the box where a Don defender headed the ball into their net at the 66th minute. This allowed the Anteaters to tack on another point, comfortably leading 2-0 for the remaining 24 minutes of the game.
Despite scoring two unanswered goals, credit must be given to the defensive side of the game, as well. In her first career start, freshman keeper Erica Quevedo had four saves and earned an impressive first career shut out.
“Quevedo played a very mature game. She’s not just our last line of defense, she’s also our first line of offense as well; she gets the ball into good field position for us,” Juniper said.
Coach Juniper concedes that this win was important for the team, considering their setback last week against Saint Mary’s.
“I think it’s always important when you take a loss like last Sunday [against Saint Mary’s]. You don’t want to have back-to-back losses, so it’s important we came out strong today. I think we created enough challenges to win that game,” Juniper said.
The Anteaters will host their last non-conference game against Pepperdine on Sept. 28 at Anteater Stadium.
UCI Men’s Soccer 2, CSU Bakersfieid 1
Currently ranked 23rd in the nation, the UC Irvine men’s soccer team rallied from behind to beat California State Bakersfield 2-1 at Anteater Stadium Friday night.
The Anteaters were trailing 1-0 for 39 minutes into the first half until senior standout Matt Murphy scored inside the box with a pass from sophomore Spencer Thompson. Murphy is now the team leader in goals this season.
Freshman Brett Berman later scored the game-winning goal in the 41st minute from a throw-in from sophomore Gray Bailey to break the tie at 2-1. Fresh off the bench, this was Berman’s first career goal as an Anteater.
“Berman is a freshman. He has been outstanding. He keeps better possession for us and can defend well. He is just a cerebral guy,” Head Coach George Kuntz said.
In the second half, both teams did not produce any scores. The Anteaters sharpened up defensively after halftime and played a tight defense to preserve their 2-1 lead.
“Our team did very well. [We] did much better in the second half. That first half was kind of sloppy,” Kuntz said.
Despite improving to a record of 7-0-2, Kuntz still finds more room for improvement on the defensive side of the game.
“One of the things we need to change specifically is our tempo and how we play,” Kuntz said. “The [defense] is going to be a lot more organized by next week.”
That may be the right move for the Anteaters as they host their first conference game against an always griddy UC Davis squad, who holds an impressive 7-1-0 record, on Oct.1.
“All the Big West games will be a new season for us. We’re going to be much faster and much more aggressive. Expect that in the next few games,” Kuntz said.
Check out the new “Game of the Week” section at the front page of this issue for details.
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