Pleased, but Not Content
Head coach Scott Juniper’s women’s soccer team returned to Anteater Stadium this fall after a 12-7-2 performance in 2009. An experienced core of starters, which was uprooted from last year’s Big West Tournament’s semifinals, looked sharp in this season’s first month of action with a 2-2 tie at No. 14 California and a 1-0 upset victory against No. 17 San Diego.
“We’re pleased with where we’re at, because we can compete with the best of them,” Juniper said. “We have a difficult schedule playing teams that we expect to beat and teams that will be tough to beat.”
Kicking off their 2010 season on Aug. 20 at home against Idaho, the Anteaters scored two goals within the first 30 minutes of the contest. They then relinquished one goal in the 40th minute before holding on for the 2-1 victory. On Aug. 22, UCI travelled up the coast to play Cal. The game ended in a draw after two overtime periods. Junior transfer Courtney “CoCo” Goodson came up with a clutch goal in the 89th minute of the match, sending the game into overtime.
Although tying can be bittersweet, the ’Eaters took some satisfaction from the game. Tying the Golden Bears broke an eight-game losing streak against Cal, marking the first instance in which UCI managed to avoid defeat against Berkeley.
The ’Eaters then lost to Seattle at home 2-1 on Aug. 29, battered Gonzaga 6-2 on Sept. 3 and took care of Eastern Washington 3-1 on Sept. 5. UCI finished up their two-week road trip with a 1-1 draw at Pepperdine University on Sept. 10. Upon returning from their road trip, Irvine’s squad made themselves right at home against No. 17 USD on Sept. 12. The lone goal came when Goodson scored in the 58th minute after a corner kick. She was assisted by freshman Jordan Bruce and junior Judy Christopher.
“CoCo brings experience and maturity to this team,” Juniper said. “She’s got a high level of competitiveness. After transferring from the University of Texas, she’s really slotted well into this team and looks comfortable on the ball.”
Senior keeper Danielle de Seriere recorded her first shutout of the season with an astounding effort in the 1-0 defensive battle.
“Danielle is wonderful. She was in my first recruiting class and has played for me all four years,” Juniper said. “As a senior captain, she’s tremendous. The tougher the games, the better she gets. And as a captain, she’s leading the team well this year.”
De Seriere has been an integral part of the team’s success thus far, keeping them in contention throughout several games. Prior to the shutout, she had been named the Big West Defensive Player of the Week in the opening week of the season, following the team’s matchups with Idaho and California.
On Friday, UCI travelled to Fresno State. Juniper’s squad picked up its fifth win of the season with a 2-0 shutout of the Bulldogs. CoCo Goodson shined once again, heading a goal into the net in the 15th minute. She was assisted by Bruce once again. Following the corner kick goal, both offenses quieted down until senior Tanya Taylor assisted sophomore Dana Sunderlin in the 58th minute to extend the ’Eaters’ lead to 2-0.
The Anteaters then defeated the University of San Francisco on Sunday 2-0. Taylor led the way with a goal in the 64th minute and an assist to sophomore Mar Rodriguez in the 24th minute. De Seriere continued to assert her dominance in the goalie box, recording her third shutout of the year,
Although the season is young, the women’s soccer team has seen its share of veteran leadership on the field. Taylor leads the team in points with 13. She hasn’t been shy when it comes to shot selection en route to five early season goals. The team has played well early on, but according to Juniper, in order to keep their winning ways going against Big West competition, “The team needs to keep getting better. We need to make sure we don’t make the same mistakes again and we can’t overlook any opponents.”