The UCA women’s soccer team (2-3) had a tough weekend, falling to the UALR Trojans 1-0 and to the Tulsa Golden Hurricanes 2-0.
The Sugar Bears faced in-state rivals the UALR Trojans on Sept. 2, facing off for the first time in three years. The Trojans scored in the first half, leaving the Sugar Bears unable to make something happen and leading to a 1-0 victory for the Trojans.
Little Rock (3-2) controlled the ball for the the first half, putting the ball into the goal in the 31st minute when freshman midfielder Caitlin Eddy threaded a pass through the middle to freshman midfielder Jacqueline Borucki, who scored her first goal of the season.
UCA put up seven attempts at scoring in the second half. Junior midfielder and forward Shelby Wilson gave the Bears their best chance in the 78th minute, as she beat UALR goalkeeper senior Sara Small to shoot on goal, though the ball deflected away off the post. Sophomore forward Dayna Mounie followed up a minute later, but Small again made the save.
Wilson led the UCA attack on the day, taking four shots, while Mounie, freshman defender Kristen Ricks and sophomore defender Jessica Pantuso each had a shot on goal. Sophomore goalkeeper Anna Hughes made five saves during the first half, while freshman goalkeeper
Lauren Mercuri, made six saves in the second half.
Junior midfielder Shelby Wilson said the match against the Trojans had a lot of positive takeaways.
“I have to say that we are getting better at creating chances for us to score,” Wilson said. “We had many opportunities to put away goals in the UALR game, but just could never finish all the way through, which is something we need to work on.”
Although they came away unsuccessful against UALR, Pantuso felt confident in the Bears’ game coming up against Tulsa on Sunday.
“Tulsa is a very good team but everything we’ve been working on from a technical standpoint is starting to come together,” Pantuso said. “I think we just need to come out hard from the start and have two strong halves.”
Despite the optimism going into their next game, the Bears couldn’t pull out a win.
The team traveled to Tulsa to take on the Golden Hurricane on Sept. 6. The Bears struggled to get anything going offensively on the day, falling 2-0.
Tulsa (6-0) got on the board early in the game, when senior midfielder Alexa Sidorakis fed a pass to sophomore midfielder Tana Dake, putting it in from 12 yards out to take a 1-0 lead.
The Golden Hurricane added to their lead later into the second half when Dake popped off a shot that deflected off UCA freshman goalkeeper Lauren Mercuri leaving it to senior midfielder Elisa Impagliazzo, who tapped it in from two yards out.
The Bears took three shots on the day, led by sophomore midfielder Alex Moore, who put her only attempt on goal, while Wilson and Mounie each took a shot. Sophomore goalkeeper Anna Hughes and Mercuri each made five saves.
UCA returns home for a pair of matches next weekend. The Bears will take on the Missouri State University Bears at 7 p.m.
Sept. 11, before hosting the Mississippi Valley State Devilettes at 3 p.m. Sept. 13.
This article originally appeared in the Sept. 9, 2015 print edition of The Echo.
image via ucasports.com