Tigers Come Up Short at No. 11 UC Irvine in Big West Semis, 2-1
Nov. 4, 2010
IRVINE, Calif. - After trading goals in the first half, the Pacific Tigers women's soccer team fell to No. 11/12 UC Irvine in the semifinals of the Big West tournament Thursday night at Anteater Stadium. Pacific red-shirt senior goalkeeper Jill Medigovich recorded a season-high seven saves, including four in the second half. The Anteaters (17-1-2 overall) advance to the Big West championship against Long Beach State on Sunday. Pacific concludes its season at 8-8-3 overall.
The Anteaters' CoCo Goodson once again was the difference maker against the Tigers. Goodson, who scored the lone goal of the match in double-overtime in the Tigers 1-0 loss at UC Irvine on Oct. 1, put the Anteaters on the board in the first half and UC Irvine goalkeeper Danielle de Seriere made it hold up.
"I think overall we played well," head coach Keith Coleman said. "We gave up the second... goal and I think that after that, we started to push things a little too much in the second half, and then we seemed to give up a lot of corners. UC Irvine's a great team. They showed that all year. We were hoping to knock them off here tonight, but they're on quite a roll, so it's going to be tough for anyone to do."
UC Irvine got on the board at the 16:02 mark off a corner kick. Medigovich made the initial save, and the rebound was headed off the cross bar by Sarah Devine. Goodson found the loose ball in the box and buried it into the lower left side from a few yards out.
The Tigers drew the match level in the 28th minute when Laura Hogan headed a service from Brittni Beeman towards the net. The ball deflected off the UC Irvine defense and into the net for the freshman's first goal of the season and a 1-1 tie.
In the 54th minute, UC Irvine got the goal back on a corner kick from the Anteaters' Nikki Forest. Forest lobbed the ball into the box, but couldn't connect with one of her teammates. However, the ball bounced towards the back post, hit a leg and rolled off the Tiger defense and over the line. The Tigers cleared it out immediately, but the linesman's flag was up indicating it was in the net for a 2-1 Irvine lead at the 53:44 mark.
With the Tigers pressing late in the 80th minute, UC Irvine's Tanya Taylor broke loose with one defender to beat, but Pacific senior defender Kylee Ah Choy denied her a one-on-one opportunity against Medigovich. Taylor regrouped and sent a pass to Dana Sanderlin on the other side, but Medigovich made a diving stop on her shot to keep the Tigers in the game.
For the match, Pacific was credited with four total shots, all in the first half. UC Irvine capitalized on a 9-2 advantage in corner kicks, including a 4-0 margin in the second half.
Medigovich's seven saves tied her career high, matching the seven she posted against USC last season. She finishes her career at Pacific as the Tigers' all-time leader in goals against average at 0.87, and ranks third in both wins (15) and shutouts (11).
Pacific had an early chance in the fourth minute, as Wavomba headed a cross from Figueroa towards the net, de Seriere was there for the save and the rebound attempt by Figueroa couldn't find its way through traffic and was eventually cleared.
The loss drops Pacific to 8-8-3 on the season, including six matches against ranked opponents. The Tigers posted a 7-3-2 record versus unranked teams, but Thursday's result was the third one-goal loss to a top 25 opponent on the year.
"You can't say enough about this group," Coleman said. "Our seniors are just a great group of kids. They came in ready to work, and they really had a great season. It's hard to see that right now, but they have a lot to be proud of. We're going to miss this group."
As the top seed in the tournament, UC Irvine will host second-seeded Long Beach State on Sunday with the Big West's automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament on the line.