Last season, the UC Riverside women’s soccer team posted its first winning record (8-7-2) since 2006 and considering that, expectations for this upcoming season are quite high. Prior to last Sunday’s match, the team had opened the year with a 4-4 record and had the opportunity to get on the winning side of .500 with a two-game slate this week.

September 13, 2015

Highlanders 0 – Lions 1

The UC Riverside women’s soccer team traveled to Los Angeles to face off against Loyola Marymount University Sunday, September 13 and suffered a bit of a letdown in a 1-0 loss to the Lions. The loss came just two days after the team nearly pulled off its biggest upset in years in a 1-0 loss to nationally-ranked Cal.

Despite finishing with an identical score to the Cal game, the Highlanders never truly found themselves competitive in this match. The blue and gold managed a season-low four shots — only one of which was on goal — and allowed the Lions to continually put pressure on their end with seven shots on goal and 16 shots in total.

The match’s lone score came in the 74th minute where, after three consecutive shots on goal, the ball eventually found the head of LMU’s Ally Andreini on a cross and made its way to the back of the net.

This loss was the second in a row for UCR and just another in what has been an up and down season for the team.

September 18, 2015

Highlanders 1 – Wildcats 2 (OT)

UCR women’s soccer gave the home crowd a treat Friday afternoon in an exciting overtime match against Arizona. Granted, the result could have been a lot sweeter had the Highlanders managed to pull out a win, but after a rough loss against LMU on Sunday, forcing a Pac-12 opponent into overtime is a moral victory if there ever was one.

The Highlanders were on their heels early in this one as the Wildcats got off to a quick start, controlling play throughout the first period and attempting 12 shots in the process. Arizona eventually converted in the 43rd minute after a goal from Defender Hayley Estopare gave them the 1-0 lead going into the half.

Yet, the Highlanders changed the course of the match on both ends come the second period. The blue and gold displayed a dogged effort on defense throughout the course of the half and — as good defense often does — it resulted in a score. This time from midfielder Blanca Barrio off an assist from forward Tyler Cunningham, tying the game at one apiece.

After continuing to hold the score throughout the end of regulation, the Highlanders suffered a quick blow come overtime as Wildcats Midfielder Gabby Stoian found the net just three minutes in. 2-1 Wildcats.

So the Highlanders walk away from the week with a three-game losing streak despite a solid effort against a highly talented Arizona team. UCR will look to find a win or two this upcoming Friday and Sunday as they travel midwest to face off against South Dakota and North Dakota State, respectively.