On Friday, Oct. 18, the Highlander women’s soccer team (2-11-1, 0-4) welcomed the University of Hawaii (5-6-1, 3-0). The Highlanders came into this game looking to add to their conference point total after suffering a loss to Cal State Fullerton (10-2-2) on Sunday, Oct. 13. Prior to this matchup, Hawaii had yet to win on the road against the Highlanders, further elevating expectations for a Riverside victory.
Although the first half was a scoreless affair, the Highlanders’ offense went toe-to-toe with Hawaii, as UCR persistently went on the attack. Senior goalkeeper Annie Bailey saved four total goals to keep UCR in the game, but Riverside was unable to capitalize on Bailey’s defensive effort, finishing with only two on-target attempts out of eight total shots.
The second half leveled the playing field, as both teams came out with a flurry of attacks. Led by a strong performance by senior forward Neyda Martinez, the Highlanders put up a staggering seven shots in the second half. The opponent, Hawaii, had their effectiveness on full display, as six of their 10 shots were on target.
The University of Hawaii successfully put up two goals, the second coming in the 87th minute, all but closing out the game for the Highlanders.
The Highlanders were unable to fully execute and find the back of the net, thanks in large part to Hawaii’s strong goalkeeping efforts, but also due to an ambitious, but ultimately sloppy offensive showing.
Hawaii’s victory extended their undefeated conference record and dealt another blow to the Highlanders’ poor start to their conference schedule.
The Highlanders will now regroup and prepare for a key game on the road against Long Beach State (3-10) on Thursday, Oct. 24.