Soccer Streak Busted

UCI 2, FGCU 1

The No. 5 Anteaters opened up the University of South Florida Tournament with a 2-1 victory over Florida Gulf Coast University. Irvine received goals from Christopher Santana and Miguel Ibarra, respectively. At 7-1-0, the Anteaters are out to the best start in school history.

“ It was an especially hot and humid afternoon and I feel our guys gave a great effort considering the conditions,” Coach George Kuntz said. “We were on the attack and created two very well taken goals.  We were disappointed to give up a late goal.”

FGCU was aggressive in the first 24 minutes of the match, launching five shots, two of which were on goal. They kept goalkeeper Andrew Fontein honest, to say the least. When forward Syd Tom was subbed out for Santana, UCI’s offense came to life. In the 25th minute, Big West Player of the Week Enrique Cardenas hit a shot that ricocheted off the FGCU goalkeeper. The ball rebounded towards Santana, who drilled the ball into the back of the net. A minute later Cardenas and Santana both assisted midfielder Miguel Ibarra.  After FGCU gave the ball away, Ibarra found the back of the net to extend the lead to 2-0.

Freshman Lester Hayes III almost made an immediate impact when he came in for Cardenas in the 27th minute, drilling a shot that bounced off the crossbar. A minute later, Hayes III almost had another opportunity when his header from a cross went wide.

Both teams exchanged shots and fouls in the second half.  Fontein made two saves and preserved the two-goal lead until the 85th minute. FGCU proved to be the aggressor in the second half as they outshot the ’Eaters seven shots to four. Their attempts to narrow the deficit were futile. Late in the 85th minute, FGCU’s Andres Navas put a free kick into the upper right corner of the net, closing the gap to one. But the Anteaters held their opponents off in the final minutes and claimed their seventh win in as many games.

UCI 0, USF 2

UCI dropped their first game of the season against the University of South Florida in a tough 2-0 loss. A win against the No. 12 Bulls would have extended the Anteaters’ undefeated streak to eight. Instead, the ’Eaters were frustrated by their inability to find the back of the net.

The game did not start well for UCI as USF managed to strike first in the 13th minute when USF’s Wesley Charpie received a pass in the outside right corner of the box and drilled the ball past senior goalkeeper Andrew Fontein. After conceding the first goal, UCI struggled to find momentum, as both teams scattered shots until the end of the first half.

Late in the second half, Coach Kuntz pushed the team forward, which resulted in more shots at goal, but none of them found the net. The Anteaters’ closest chance at goal came in the 63rd minute when Christian Hernandez had his shot saved by USF’s goalkeeper, Chris Blais. The Bulls sealed the game shut in the 85th minute when USF’s Ben Sweat found the head of Dom Dwyer on a free kick to finish the game 2-0.