Sports in Brief
Co-written with Marvin Luu
The conference struggles continue for the UC Irvine men’s soccer team (2-8-3, 0-3-1) as they came out winless last week with losses to Sacramento State (4-7-1, 1-3) and UC Davis (6-6-1, 2-1-1) on the road. Both games went to overtime, but the Anteaters failed to come away victorious and now rest in last place in the Big West Conference.
UCI has not been able to win a game in overtime this season, and the game against the Aggies went on to be their seventh overtime game of the year. Saturday’s game was the ‘Eaters’ third consecutive overtime game which resulted in one tie and two losses.
Irvine’s road trip this week started against Sacramento State last Thursday, which resulted in a 3-2 loss. The game was tied until senior Mats Bjurman put the Anteaters up 2-1 in the 68th minute of regulation with his first goal of the season. UCI’s shooting was on target all night as 16 of their 20 shots were on goal. Hornet freshman Jessie Gonzalez found the equalizer late at the end of regulation to force overtime and eventually find the win for Sac State.
Another overtime conference loss came at the hands of the UC Davis Aggies with their 2-1 victory over the ‘Eaters. With the game tied in the second half with a single goal apiece, Bjurman had a golden opportunity drawing a penalty at the 55th minute mark. Bjurman was denied by Aggie goalkeeper Armando Quezada and the game went into overtime where the Anteaters conceded their third loss in conference play.
The Anteaters remain winless in the conference and look to bounce back against UC Riverside Wednesday night at Anteater Stadium.
Four days after defeating UC Riverside to kick off their 2015 Big West campaign, The UCI women’s soccer team (5-7-1) picked up their first conference loss (seventh overall) on Thursday night after conceding two goals in the second half against Cal State Northridge (9-5-1), whom they had tied in an exhibition matchup back in August. The ‘Eaters have stumbled on the road this season, currently holding a 1-4 record when venturing off into adversarial territory.
Despite the loss, UCI did not walk out of Matador Field without some notable merits. In their last four losses, the ‘Eaters had given up their first goals within 30 minutes of the first half. On Thursday night, UCI did not allow the ball to reach the nets until the 53rd minute mark.
Offensively, the ‘Eaters locked in early and went directly at Matador senior goalie Cynthia Tafoya three times off of 15 total shot attempts in the contest. Sophomore midfielder Alex Karlowitsch was the first to check Tafoya in the 15th minute mark when she barreled a shot that deflected off Tafoya’s hands and into the crossbar. Karlowitsch had been on target all game, with two of her three shot attempts hitting the mark but failing to convert into digits on the scoreboard. Karlowitsch’s third attempt, which came in the 66th minute mark, would have equalized the game.
As the ‘Eaters failed to capitalize on their early opportunities, the Matadors found the scoring touch in the second half. Sophomore forward Cynthia Sanchez manned CSUN’s offense and proved to be an offensive tour de force, having put up five shots with four on target. Two of those four shots would go on to convert into the Matador’s sole goals of the game. Sanchez’s first goal came in the 53rd minute mark and hit the back of the net unassisted; the second came in the 71st and set the game in stone.
With a 1-1 conference record, UCI will return to the Anteater Stadium next Friday for a 7 pm matchup against Cal State Fullerton.
Men’s Water Polo
No. 7 UC Irvine men’s water polo team (10-3, 1-0) split their two games in the SoCal Invitational on Saturday with a win over No. 9 Pepperdine (8-7, 1-1) and a loss against the undefeated No. 1 UCLA (15-0, 1-0).
The ‘Eaters won the first game of the invitational against the host Waves 13-12. UCI maintained control throughout the game as they lead 9-5 at halftime. Junior Lovre Milos lead the Anteaters in scoring with four goals. Junior Kyle Trush, with a hat trick in the match, scored a goal in the closing minutes of the third period to give the ‘Eaters a 12-6 lead heading into the last quarter. UCI had to withstand a six goal quarter by Pepperdine and score a goal themselves to squeeze out the win and face UCLA in the next stage of the invitational. UCLA was too much to overcome for the Anteaters as the Bruins topped UCI 13-4. On Sunday the Anteaters faced No. 5 Pacific and lost 14-9. In the last game of the invitational Irvine managed to squeeze out an overtime win against their rivals Long Beach State to a score of 9-8. UCI will return to conference play on Saturday to compete against Pacific on the road.