Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Sports in Brief

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Women’s Soccer

UC Irvine Women’s Soccer (8-4-1) drew a point in their conference opener against Long Beach State (4-5-2) Thursday after both teams marathoned six periods of play without conceding a single goal.

While the ‘Eaters opened the first half with four shots, Long Beach controlled the second with seven and finished the game with a 11-5 advantage in the respective category. Long Beach also garnered all eight corner kicks of the game.

With the 49ers taking on the offensive for the majority of the game, UCI was there to meet them on the defensive. Freshman keeper Maddie Newsom successfully weathered all four of Long Beach’s shots on goal, one of which came late in the 108th minute, to earn her fifth shut out on the season.

Of the five shots that UCI attempted, two were put up on the mark. The first came three minutes into the game when senior midfielder Sammie James lunged out on the 49ers and broke the game open with the first shot and challenge of the night. However, Long Beach senior keeper Ashton McKeown kept the game notched up and would later reject the ‘Eaters’ last best chance in the 50th minute.

Having split their first conference opener with Long Beach, the ‘Eaters will travel to Riverside and Davis before hitting a four game home stretch that begins on Oct. 16 against CSUN.

Men’s Water Polo

Facing off against UCLA (17-0-0), the top ranked team in the nation, the 13th ranked UCI men’s water polo team (7-6) could not spoil the Bruins’ momentum as they fell, 11-0, at the Spieker Aquatics Center Saturday night.

Given their victory over the ‘Eaters and later Claremont-Mudd-Scripts (4-10) in a 17-4 contest, UCLA has officially tied their program record for consecutive win streaks at 50 — a number that was set from 1964-1968. The Bruins will have a chance to tie the NCAA record at 51, which was set by Stanford from 1985-1987.

From the opening quarter to the closing minutes, the Bruins dominated the game and had points spread across the board amongst nine different players.

Sophomore attacker David Stiling and junior center Matt Farmer led UCLA with a brace a piece.

UCI put up 22 attempts for the evening and forced UCLA senior keeper Garrett Danner’s hand on four occasions. Junior Aleksandar Ruzic, who checked in to relieve Danner in the second half, was also challenged with seven ‘Eater attempts that were propelled on frame.

For UCI, junior keeper Matej Matijevic recovered nine shots. Matijevic is currently averaging 14.02 saves a night with a season high of 18, a number he has tied on three occasions.

The ‘Eaters will return home for a four game home stand. UCI will begin by hosting USC on Sunday, October 9 at 1:00 p.m.

Cross Country

Men’s Cross Country

UCI took home the title at the Mustang Challenge Saturday morning after topping all teams with 27 points in NCAA Division 1 scoring.

Treading over 8,000 meters, senior Isaiah Thompson emerged with the top collegiate finish and second overall — behind Garrett Reynolds who ran unattached — with a time of 24:59.6.

With Thompson’s success, coach Jeff Perkins believes that the veteran will help motivate the team come conference championships, which will begin later this month.

“Isaiah Thompson has been the spark to continue to bring the team along in each race,” coach Perkins said. “He will be a vital piece to the team’s title hopes.”

Junior Izzak Mireles followed up Thompson for the ‘Eaters, finishing fifth overall at 25:12.4.

Senior Nolan De Valle and freshman Hector Garcia registered 12th and 15th place finishes, 25:36.6 and 25:51.9, respectively.

Women’s Cross Country

Finishing with a collective 17 points, UCI bested all competitors in the Division I field at Santa Clarita’s Central Park for the Mustang Challenge Saturday morning.

Freshman Anastasia Karnaze, who topped all ‘Eaters at the UC Riverside Invitational, led UCI once more with a first place finish in the Division I field and fifth overall with a time of 17.58.5.

Danielle Shanahan, who ran unattached, clocked in at 17:21.3 for a first overall finish.

Senior Marisa Gonzalez came in at 15th while sophomore Lisa Vasquez took 20th with 18:41.3 and 18.51.6, respectively.

Having performed well at the Mustang Challenge, coach Perkins believes that UCI is starting to pick up on the values of running with a collective mentality.

“We are starting to understand the importance of team pacing throughout each race and that will prove to be very important as we prepare for the Big West Cross Country Championships in Hawaii at the end of the month,” coach Perkins said.

The ‘Eaters’ next stop will be at the Highlander Invitational, held on Saturday, Oct. 15.


Men’s Tennis

Junior Luca Marquard opened the year with a loss to senior Matt Hamilton in the pre-qualifying singles by a score of 6-2 and 7-5 at the Saint Francis Health System ITA Men’s All-American Championships Saturday.

Junior Sebastian Heim joins Marquard as the other Anteater to begin the season ahead of schedule with a match in the qualifying draw on Oct. 3. Heim is currently ranked 79th in the ITA Preseason Rankings.

The ‘Eaters will head to San Diego this weekend where they will compete at the Aztec Fall Invitational, which will run from Oct. 7 to 9.

Women’s Tennis

In their first match of the season, an Anteater tandem consisting of junior Vivien Dvali and freshman Constance Branstine got off to a great start at the Riviera/ITA Women’s All-American Championships Saturday morning when the two defeated Old Dominion’s sophomore Nataliya Vlasova and freshman Holly Hutchinson, 8-4, to advance to the pre-qualifying doubles round of 16 the next day.

The pre-qualifying doubles event featured 31 teams of which four would move on to the qualifying event to be held today and tomorrow.

On Sunday morning, however, Dvali and Branstine returned to Pepperdine’s Ralphs-Straus Tennis Center where they fell in the pre-qualifying round against Liberty’s junior Evangeline Crist and sophomore Anna Dollar, 8-4.

Despite the loss, Dvali and Branstine were the first team in three years to be invited to the Riviera/ITA All-American Championships. The last time the ‘Eaters were invited to the event was back in 2013, when Franziska Goettsching and Sarah Gong also advanced to the pre-qualifying round doubles round of 16.

UCI will compete at the Long Beach State Tournament this Friday.