November 1, 2013
Grizzlies 4 – Highlanders 0
Still in the thick of the Big West playoff chase, the UCR women’s soccer team took the field for their final home game against the Montana Grizzlies. For Kaitlin Anzalone, Lindsey Ahmed, Jessica Olafsen and Andrea Morales, Friday’s match would be their final home game donning a Highlander jersey.
Embodying the traits of their mascot, the Grizzlies struck swiftly and with prowess in the eighth minute as India Watne’s shot found its way to the back of the net. Both teams traded blows for the rest of the half until Montana was able to serve up a punch to the gut of the Highlanders in the final minute of the first period. With a minute and seven seconds to go in the half, Chloe Torres found Aspen Peifer to give Montana a 2-0 lead going into the second half.
The Grizzlies kept the ball rolling after the break, with Chloe Torres this time picking up a goal of her own to put her team up 3-0.
UCR was simply outclassed by Montana throughout the entire second half, being outshot 9-4 and bullied on the defensive side.
A Highlander penalty in the 62nd minute gave Taylor Rhodes an opportunity to give the Grizzlies a 4-0 lead. Needless to say, Rhodes converted on the penalty kick, which put the game out of question.
Both teams were held scoreless through the final half-hour of play, as the Grizzlies were able to complete the shutout against UCR and hand them their 12th loss of the season.
Luckily for the Highlanders, Friday’s nonconference match against Montana bears no weight on their Big West record. With a 3-4 conference record going into the weekend, the Highlanders sit tied with UC Santa Barbara and Long Beach State for the fourth and final spot in the Big West Conference Tournament.
November 3, 2013
Highlanders 2 – 49ers 1
A road win over the Long Beach State 49ers on Sunday helped the UCR women’s soccer team clinch a third seed in the Big West conference tournament.
Ten minutes into the first half, Amber Marani’s free kick into the box found Tyler Cunningham for the first score of the game. Both teams held each other scoreless for the rest of the half, with the Highlanders dominating the 49ers on the offensive side of the ball, outshooting them 10-3 with four shots on goal. It was a quiet day for UCR goalkeeper Elizabeth Silas, who didn’t need to make a single save in the first half.
Cunningham continued her big day for UCR early in the second half, scoring her second goal of the game and fourth of the season to put her team up 2-0. The 49ers had an answer for Cunningham’s goal, though, when Taylor Nelson put her team on the board in the 55th minute.
Nelson’s goal would be the last of the game, as the Highlanders were able to close out the final 35 minutes and secure a victory in what has been their biggest game of the season to date.
With their first appearance in the Big West tournament in eight years, the Highlanders now turn their attention toward the second-seed UC Irvine Anteaters, whom they are set to face on Thursday, Nov. 7. The Highlanders look to avenge the result of their last meeting against the Anteaters on Oct. 10, which ended in a 0-2 loss.