SEASIDE - A pair of early goals shifted the momentum early to the home side as UC Santa Cruz fell 4-0 at Division II Cal State Monterey Bay.
The Otters (4-4) hit for goals in the third and fourth minute to take a quick 2-0 lead and force the Banana Slugs (3-7) to try and force the game early. Despite the shock start, UC Santa Cruz settled into their possession game and had their opportunities to get on the board. The best chance came with under 10 seconds in the half when Sierra Reith got on the end of a great cross from the right, but couldn't direct the ball on frame.
UCSC continued pushing at the start of the second half, and almost got rewarded eleven minutes after the restart. Alex Arce had a shot that CSUMB goalie Victoria Whyte quickly parried away. Natalie Filippi pounced on the rebound at the left post, but Whyte quickly reacted again to deny her and keep the shutout.
The Otters caught their breath and pressed forward, their efforts paying off in the 60th minute when the ball deflected off a UCSC player for the game's third goal. The hosts finished scoring in the 65th minute on a blast from outside the box.
The game was even possession the final 25 minutes, with UCSC midfielder Izel Gutierrez getting the last shot of the game in the 82nd minute but her shot from 20 yards went wide. UCSC had a last-minute corner kick that was scrambled out of the box before anyone could get a shot off.
CSUMB had a 13-6 shot advantage. Malia Starita finished with 3 saves in goal for UCSC.
The Banana Slugs play two more Division II teams next, starting on Tuesday when they host Hawai'i Pacific.