Defense Carries ‘Eaters

Eric Lim/New University


UC Irvine faced the UCSB Gauchos in a rivalry matchup at Anteater Stadium on Oct. 7. Irvine, desperate for a win after going 1-2-1  in their past four road games, played physically.
Scoreless in the 20th minute,   freshman Cami Privett crossed a pass into the box. Senior forward Lexi Kopf’s attempt missed, but junior Dana Sanderlin gathered her rebound in the corner and put the ’Eaters on top. The goal was Sanderlin’s first of her season after scoring 10 in the past two seasons.
In the 23rd minute, a UCSB foul  gave Coco Goodson a free kick from about 30 yards out, but Goodson was unable to put the Anteaters up by two scores.
Toward the end of the first half, the Gauchos put pressure on the ’Eaters, dominating ball possession and increasing the tempo, desperate to tie the game at one.
Irvine responded in the second half with more energy, which resulted in more fouls. Irvine had eight fouls to Santa Barbara’s four throughout the evening.  The Gauchos nearly scored  in the 68th minute, but goalkeeper Jennifer Randazzo corralled it short of the line. Irvine wasn’t tested often throughout the game, as Randazzo only had to make two saves.
The Anteaters failed to capitalize on more offensive opportunities, but as the Gauchos went into panic mode in the final five minutes, UCI held on for the win. The victory extended Irvine’s record to 1-1-1 in the Big West.
“[We had] good teamwork tonight,” Sanderlin said.  “[We’re] try[ing] to push each other to a new limit […] Santa Barbara is always competitive.”
She insisted that credit for the win was due to her teammates.
“We needed to put a win on the board,” Head Coach Scott Juniper said. “We’re [taking] each game as it comes.”
UCI 1, Cal Poly 0
The Anteaters secured another 1-0 victory at home on Oct. 9. Once again, Ramdazzo and the defense held strong, this time stifling Cal Poly’s attack.
Cami Privett notched her fourth goal of the season with a game-winner in the 72nd minute. Irvine’s victory extends their record to 9-3-2 overall and 2-1-1 in conference.
The ladies will miss out on the Shocktoberfest festivities on Friday night as they travel to Cal State Fullerton for another Big West game at 7 p.m. Juniper’s squad will then face Long Beach State at home on Sunday, Oct. 16 at 6 p.m.