By Marvin Luu
Following a 3-1 loss in Hawai’i (18-1) to start off their three-game road trip, the UC Irvine women’s soccer team (10-11) took care of business and bounced back into the winning column this past week with a 3-1 victory over Cal State Fullerton (0-20) last Friday and a 3-0 victory over UC Riverside (7-14) the next day.
During Friday night’s matchup against Cal State Fullerton, senior outside hitter Marisa Bubica lead the ‘Eaters with 13 kills and bested her own career high with four aces. Freshman opposite Harlee Kekauoha also had a solid outing with 11 kills. With the aggressive play by Bubica and Kekauoha, UCI jumped out early, winning the first two sets 25-22 and 25-17 respectively. Despite a third set surge by the Titans, UCI would go to take the fourth set at 25-13, and subsequently, the game.
After a fiery performance at Titan Gym, Bubica followed up her phenomenal performance with nine kills as junior setter Shelly Anderson racked up 39 of the ‘Eaters 42 total assists in a three set (25-23, 25-22, 25-19) sweep over UC Riverside.
With two consecutive victories under their belt, the Anteaters will make their way back home this Thursday to face off against Long Beach State (16-5).
The UC Irvine men’s soccer team (5-9-3) found the scoring touch last Thursday night, putting up five goals in their four-point victory over UC Riverside (6-10-1). Freshman midfielder Ivan Canales scored the first point of the contest for the ‘Eaters (his fifth for the season) within the 11th minute mark as senior midfielder Mats Bjurman and senior forward Jaime Phillips were credited assists on the play. Phillips would go on to score UCI’s fourth goal of the night by the 64th minute mark and would pick up another assist before the closing minutes of the game. Senior midfielder Eduardo Calzada led UCI with two goals, one of which came unassisted in the first half. Despite conceding a goal five minutes into the second half, the ‘Eaters ultimately controlled the game offensively, outpacing the Highlanders, taking 28 shots to the Highlanders’ 12.
UCI was not quite done yet, taking their second straight victory of the week on Saturday over CSUN (7-7-2), 2-0. While CSUN only managed to place one shot on goal, half of the ‘Eaters 10 shots hit the mark and two converted into goals. Less than two minutes into the game, freshman defender Jorge Lara scored his second career goal as an Anteater off a free kick sent in by junior defender Thomas Janjigian. Freshman midfielder Luis Leon pierced the game-sealing shot in the 75th minute mark off a long cross-field pass from Calzada.
With contributions by Lara and Leon, the ‘Eaters will look to get much more solid contributions from their first year players when they meet Cal State Fullerton at 7 p.m. this Wednesday at the Anteater Stadium.
After dropping two consecutive games at Cal Poly (6-7-5) and UC Santa Barbara (12-4-1), the UC Irvine women’s soccer team is now 2-4 in conference play, 6-10-1 overall.
The ‘Eaters’ first loss came on Friday night when the team conceded two goals against an aggressive Cal Poly team that put up 17 total shots, seven of which were struck on goal. The Mustangs’ first goal came off a free kick from junior forward Elise Krieghoff late in the 29th minute mark. Although the ‘Eaters would come out of the half with much more aggression, attempting double the number of shots they had taken during the first period, the Mustangs responded well and managed to put the game away in the 58th minute when freshman midfielder McKenzie Flood cleaned up a play and booted a shot from 25 yards out into the right side of the nets.
Two days later, UCI failed to hold off UC Santa Barbara, giving up a heart-breaking goal in the 87th minute, just three minutes shy of the end of the second period. Sophomore forward Kiana Palacios nearly scored her third goal for the season on two occasions, the first of which hit the post in the 18th minute mark. Two minutes later, Palacios came back strong with a straight-liner that was blocked by Santa Barbara senior goalie Beth Ritter. Palacios led her team, taking six of the ‘Eaters’ 10 shots. Without a clean look at the goal, the ‘Eaters’ hopes of forcing overtime ended when freshman forward Mallory Hromatko sent a low shot that rolled past UCI goalie Corey Tobin into the left side of the net.
The ‘Eaters will make a long road trip to Hawai’i this Thursday for a 10 p.m. matchup before returning home on Nov. 1 to close out the season against UC Davis.