Sunday saw a rough match for the athletes of UCSC women’s soccer: Up against California Lutheran University, the Slugs held a final score of 0-2.
Currently at No. 11 in the nation, Cal Lutheran brought a hard match, combining both solid defensive backs with aggressive midfielders. The first goal was swept in within the first five minutes of the whistle, the second in the last two minutes of the first period.
However, Slug assistant coach Emily Scheese was confident her team would continue bringing the heat.
“I think it’s unfortunate,” she said after the first half. “So we’re frustrated. But despite the scores, the girls have shown they can compete at this level.”
And compete they did, with six saves by goalkeeper Monica Chazen, and 11 attempted shots by players Maritza Hernandez, Gloria Hernandez, Michele Stathatos, Kiku Koyano and Sofia Pasarow.
Immediately after the first goal of the first period, UCSC was prompted to kick up the game a few notches. After quick midfield passes up the pitch to Cal Lutheran territory, the Slugs were immediately batted back by opposing midfielders and forwards. The game was kept fairly equal throughout: They were well matched, passing the ball back and forth across the center line for, seemingly, most of the game. Appearing at the beginning and end of the first period, Cal Lutheran’s goals seemed to just barely slip through the Slug defense.
Team captain Adriana Moosekian said post-game that it was really the second period where UCSC showed its mettle.
“We became more of an offensive threat,” she said. “Our key was playing our outside midfielders — we found our wings there.”
UCSC women’s soccer is a young team: with seven freshmen, seven sophomores and only two seniors, head coach Josh Schelhorse noted the team’s lack of experience as a major constraining factor.
“We’re a young team,” he said. “Defensively we’ve got to be touch tight, but in the end we’re just young. And there’s a lot of things you just get from experience.”
UCSC women’s soccer has tough teams ahead. Home games against Concordia-Moorehead and Chapman University will fill the team’s heads until a match at William Jessup in Placerville on Oct. 28. Then, a final home game against Mills College will occur on Nov. 5.
Schelhorse said they are very close to making it in the playoffs, and with only one win needed to get there, one can tell the team is incredibly determined.
“They’re working harder and getting better. We just have to find a way to get that one inch,” he said. “We’ve got a great base — our players are fit, they’re technical — it’s just that last inch we need to push for.”