NAPERVILLE (10-18) – UC Santa Cruz finished their trip to Illinois as they took on North Central College. The second match was kind to the Banana Slugs as they defeated the host Cardinals 3-1.
In their last match, the Banana Slugs lost to North Park University 3-0 in Chicago on Friday while the Cardinals defeated Elmhurst College 2-1 on Wednesday in Naperville.
In the first half, the Banana Slugs would strike quickly. With 39:57 left in the half, Rodrigo Diaz-Valdes scored on a header to give the Banana Slugs a 1-0 lead. For the remainder of the half, neither team could find the back of the net. The Banana Slugs led 1-0 at the halftime intermission.
In the second half, it would be the Cardinals who would strike first. Karl Bappert scored from the center of the box to tie the match at 1-1 with 41:04 remaining. For almost the next half hour of clock time, both teams played at a back-and-forth pace with neither team gaining offensive control. With 15:22 left, however, the pace changed as Jacob Myers Norys scored what eventually proved to be the game winner to give the Banana Slugs a 2-1 lead. Diaz-Valdes would score the Banana Slugs' final tally of the day to give the Banana Slugs a 3-1 lead with 7:25 left in the match. The Banana Slugs won 3-1.
Diaz-Valdes had a match high two shots to lead the Banana Slugs while for North Central, Gavin Sanchez also had a match high two shots. Connor Anderson got the win for the Banana Slugs while Sebastian Garcia got the loss for the Cardinals. The Banana Slugs outshot the Cardinals 9-6 while the Banana Slugs had one more corner kick (3-2) than did the Cardinals.
The Banana Slugs' next match is Tuesday as they take on Gavilan College in Santa Cruz. Kickoff is set for 2 pm.