UC Santa Cruz 1, Menlo 0
Date of competition: Saturday, September 21, 2019
By Ryan Barnett
In its final home nonconference tune up, Menlo took to the pitch to take on the UC Santa Cruz Banana Slugs. The two teams were evenly matched as they have been in the recent past, with neither team denting the scoreboard in the first 86 minutes of the match. Unfortunately, a goal in the 87th minute by the Slugs was enough to propel them over the Oaks for the first time in their past four matches. With the win, UCSC improves to 5-1-1 on the year, while Menlo falls to 2-3-1.
Gonzalez a Giant Between the Posts
Although only one goal was scored this entire match, UC Santa Cruz had plenty of scoring opportunities. UC Santa Cruz totaled 19 shots to the Oaks five, with 11 of those on goal to the Oaks two. Michelle Gonzalez was up to the task, notching 10 saves for the second time in her Menlo career. She also had help from her back line, made up of Mercedes Beckham, Haleigh Stoddard, Megan Sequira, and Menlo-Atherton High grad Zoe Bell, who limited shooting space and alleys for the Banana Slugs all game. A perfectly timed cross from Tea Lopes to Amelia Streiffer beat Gonzalez with 3:14 remaining proved all the scoring UCSC needed.
Kovermann the Lone Source of Offense
The Oaks got most of their scoring opportunities from sophomore Kori-Ann Kovermann, who took four of the Oaks five shots. Kovermann opened with a shot just wide five minutes in, and it looked like the momentum was going to be in favor of the Oaks. She would fire her first shot on goal, 25 minutes later, saved by Alyssa Diaz-Tucker of UCSC. Her best scoring opportunity came in the 57th minute, when Kovermann dribbled into the box from the left flank and fired a shot that was blocked by Fiona Nielson, fell back at her feet, and fired another shot that was blocked by Peyton Bell. Unfortunately, Kovermann was injured on the play, and did not return to action.
Amongst the Numbers
The Oaks only other shot came from Ariadna Ramirez. The Slugs out cornered the Oaks 7-3 while the Oaks out fouled the Slugs 11-4. There were two yellow cards given in the match, one to Ramirez and one to Stoddard. UC Santa Cruz's shot leader was Streiffer with six, with Peyton Bell not far behind her with three.
The Oaks have a two-week break and then open conference play.
posted by Menlo Athletics on Sep 21, 2019 at 6:49 pm
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