UCI 8, LBSU 7
The ’Eaters were able to narrowly defeat ninth-ranked Long Beach State in their first match of the NorCal Tournament in Stockton, defending their no. 6 ranking and moving to 8-0.
Redshirt junior goalie Jimmy Friedrich made a large contribution through his skill and experience earning 10 saves, five of which came in the last period of the game.
After struggling against LBSU with a 6-3 deficit at halftime, Jacob Mourer led a UCI comeback in the second half as he and Nick Pfeil scored a goal apiece while down 7-4 to cut the deficit to one goal.
After Max Parrague tied the game with 4:15 left in the fourth quarter, Jacob scored the game winner with 1:02 remaining.
UCI 4, USC 11
Following their 8-7 thriller against LBSU, UCI was defeated by USC 11-4, despite a strong effort by redshirt freshman goalie Michael Bailey who recorded 15 saves.
In the opening half, UCI didn’t seem daunted by USC’s strength as they scored early in the opening quarter with a goal by redshirt freshman Alan Robertson.
A clear dichotomy from the first half, when the UC Irvine ‘Eaters were able to hold the Trojans at a close score of 2-2, the second half showed that endurance and power are the traits that keep the Trojans in their position at the top of the rankings.
Scoring three consecutive goals at the opening of the third quarter, and another 6 goals later in the match, the USC Trojans brought the final score to 11-4, delivering the devastating first defeat to the ‘Eaters this season. Ten different Trojans scored that game.
Although the loss was a first for the ’Eaters this season, the team is still a force to be reckoned with. Although they are currently ranked sixth, it shows in their power and performance that every match is providing the ’Eaters with valuable experience.
From the high-scoring matches and the high level of competition, this learning stretch from the NorCal Tournament is encouraging UCI to continue on their path this season.