SANTA CRUZ, CA- Playing their fifth Division II opponent of the season, UC Santa Cruz engineered a late comeback but fell to San Francisco State's superior depth in a 3-2 loss on Senior Day
The Slugs are now 4-9-1 on the year, 0-3-1 against CCAA foes, the nation's toughest Division II conference. San Francisco State improved to 8-5-2.
The game got off to a bad start as SFSU scored in the seventh minute from Natasha Gosiaco's goal. The Slugs then settled down and got two corners in the next 20 minutes, resulting in Rikki Porter having a shot blocked and Kacie Ring's goalmouth header going over the bar.
In the second half, the Gators brought in several bench players, and the fresh legs paid off. SFSU had a 5-1 shot advantage in the first fifteen minutes, and added onto the lead. In the 60th minutes, Sierra Sagasta knocked in a finish at the far post from Vanessa Koontz's run and cross. The lead became 3-0 in the 70th minute from Malissa Shadle's blast.
Energized, the Slugs continued to press and almost got a magical second goal less than two minutes later when Olivia Stewart collected a pass from Shaw and volleyed a shot that hit the crossbar before going out for a goal kick.
The senior night magic continued three minutes later when Megan Carey collected a loose ball at midfield and let out an ambitious shot from 30 yards. The Gator goalie however misjudged the catch and the ball careened off her hands into the net for the hosts' second goal.
It was Carey's seventh goal of the year.
The Banana Slugs then battled for the equalizer but the two teams defended each other back and forth until the end of regulation.
"I'm really proud of the way we played together with the belief,drive and work ethic to mount a comeback," said head coach Emily Scheese"We were lead by the composure, work rate and example of our senior captains in midfield. Their leadership infused the team."
The Slugs next play a pair of road games this weekend, beginning with a matchup against fellow independent Mills Friday afternoon.