GEORGETOWN, Texas – Two fluke goals allowed the University of California-Santa Cruz to defeat Southwestern University 2-0 on Friday afternoon. The loss drops the Pirates to 3-2-1 on the year while UCSC improves to 5-1.
UC Santa Cruz went on the attack as soon as the whistle blew and scored on a header by Brooke Atkinson on a cross by Jennifer Espinoza from the left of the goal in the second minute.
Southwestern responded with a breakaway of their own after the kickoff, but were called offside to end the threat. As the half wound down the Pirates were the ones with the better opportunities at goal, but the half closed with SU down 1-0.
With an obvious renewed spirit and strategy, the Pirates were the first with a great look in the 50th minute as the ball was played forward to Jillian Curran who broke away from the defensive line. Curran was unable to get a touch on the ball before UCSC's keeper Monica Chazen came out of the box and cleared the ball away from goal.
SU continued to pummel the Banana Slugs as two headers, one by Curran and one by Hailey Warriner, veered just left of the goal. An obviously frustrated UCSC team was unable to get back in their rhythm as Southwestern continued on the offensive.
With fresh legs on the field the Pirates didn't miss a beat, but Southwestern just couldn't get the bounce they needed to score the equalizer. Santa Cruz went up by two goals when they received a penalty kick after an SU foul in the box. Maritza Hernandez took the PK, scoring to the right as SU keeper Sarah Nonaka guessed left.
Southwestern made up significant ground in the shot count during the second half but had four fewer shots than the Banana Slugs (13-9) throughout the duration of the contest. SU had four corner kicks to UCSC's 6, but three were in the second half while the SU defensive line buckled down and didn't allow a corner kick to the Banana Slugs.
The Pirates remain at home to face Huston-Tillotson in their final non-conference match before SCAC action begins. Game time is set for 12:00 on Sunday.