Voted by Big West coaches in the preseason to finish second in the Big West, the women’s soccer team is currently off to a rough start for 2014, sitting at 0-3-0. Opening the season against two nationally ranked top ten teams as part of their non-conference schedule, the Anteaters hit the road to battle against No. 10 Santa Clara for the season opener on August 22. UCI matched a season high from 2013 with seven corner kicks, but ultimately fell 2-0 off a pair of goals by Santa Clara guard, Sofia Huerta.
Two days later, UCI would take to the road once more as they took on the defending national champions, UCLA, at Drake Stadium Sunday night. Despite their best efforts, the ‘Eaters were unable to find a goal against the top-ranked Bruins, suffering a 3-0 shutout. Taylor Smith drew first blood for UCLA with a goal in the 29th minute, while Sam Mewis and Darian Jenkins secured the Bruin’s lead with a goal at the 78th and 84th minute mark respectively.
Following their non-conference road trip, the women’s soccer team had an opportunity to regroup itself before traveling to Alabama for the Auburn Soccer Classic. Playing against the host Auburn Tigers last Friday, the Anteaters suffered their second consecutive 3-0 loss at the Auburn Soccer Complex. Despite the Tigers having a 7-0 advantage in the first half, the Anteater defense was able to weather the storm to keep the game even. Auburn would find its break in the 52nd minute off a goal by Chelsea Gandy-Cromer, with the next two goals coming at the 62nd and 80th minute marks to seal the deal.
UC Irvine concludes its run at the Auburn Classic with a 10:00 a.m. match against the Indiana Hoosiers before returning back to Irvine for a month long stretch of home games throughout September.
Starting the 2014 season on the road, the Anteaters traveled to southwest Ohio to participate in the inaugural Queen City Classic co-hosted by crosstown rivals Cincinnati and Xavier. Taking place on August 29 and 30, the two day event saw the Anteaters finish with a 1-2 record.
UC Irvine took on Xavier in the season opener, kicking things off with a 25-23 victory in the opening set. Taking initiative in the second set, the Musketeers responded by quickly jumping ahead to a 9-4 lead en route to a 25-15 win. The third set was a much more closely fought affair between the two teams, with Xavier eventually taking the win at 25-20 and closing out the fourth set in triumphant fashion at 25-14 to take the match.
Senior Allison Lee had a game high 13 kills while Shelley Anderson had 11 digs and 36 assists.
The next morning saw the Anteaters fall to Cincinnati 25-23, 25-22, 25-23 despite hitting 11 service aces. Despite hitting nine more aces than the Bearcats, the Anteaters were unable to keep up with Cincinnati in terms of block assists and digs, losing 16-6 and 42-36 respectively.
Later on that afternoon, UCI would defeat defending Atlantic-10 champion Duquesne 3-1 (25-19, 25-20, 21-25, 25-16) to clinch their first victory and cap off play in the Queen City Classic. Although the Dukes had the upper hand in terms of blocks (7-4) and digs (57-53), the Anteaters offense proved too much as they posted 61 kills while holding Duquesne to 38.
The ‘Eaters now return home to host the UC Irvine Tournament at Crawford Court from Sept. 5 to 6 against Utah State, Pepperdine and Idaho.
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