Men’s Soccer Fails to Build Momentum

The UC Irvine men’s soccer team has suffered yet another setback, losing to UC Davis 2-1 on Saturday, Oct. 27, at Aggie Stadium.
The Aggies opened the scoring in the 63rd minute when Nicholas Lind headed in a corner kick by Dylan Curtis.
Davis would go up again in the 73rd minute. It was Lind who found a streaking Ian Conklin, who received the through ball and beat the keeper, Pat Barton, in a one-on-one to make the score 2-0.
The Anteaters would cut the deficit in half in the 80th minute. Junior Michael Willrich scored his first goal as an Anteater off an assist from sophomore Kevin Santora.
The Anteaters could not capitalize on some late chances and dropped their record to 6-4-4 and 1-3-2 in Big West play.
‘There really is no excuse for our mediocre play, but a lot of the guys were tired and mentally out of it, including myself. And I think that it was due to our lack of practicing outdoors for the last week,’ said sophomore midfielder Indar Smith.
The Anteaters had an awkward week prior to the match. They saw all of their outdoor practices canceled and even last Wednesday’s game against UC Riverside postponed due to poor air quality as a result of the fires.
The Anteaters were forced to practice indoors, off the natural grass they play on. In addition, the Aggie crowd was very rowdy.
‘They really try to get in your head. Last time we went up there, they caused some problems,’ said Coach George Kuntz.
The Anteaters will host soccer rival 15th-ranked UC Santa Barbara this Wednesday at 7 p.m. The Anteaters lost to UC Santa Barbara 4-0 earlier in the season in a nationally-televised match-up.
They look for redemption this time around at Anteater Stadium.