POMONA (9-1) – UC Santa Cruz started their 2016 campaign as they took on Pomona-Pitzer in Pomona. The match was tied at halftime, but the Sagehens scored a goal in the second half and won the match 2-1.
The Banana Slugs finished the 2015 season with a 5-7-4 record while the Sagehens finished their 2015 campaign with an 8-9-3 tally.
The Banana Slugs would strike first in the match. With 33:24 left in the first half, Dominique Royall scored off a Rodrigo Diaz-Valdes pass to give the Banana Slugs a 1-0 lead. Twenty minutes later the Sagehens would respond. Bjorn Sigurdsson scored for the Sagehens, tying the match at 1-1 with 13:56 left in the first half. The Banana Slugs would have one more chance to break the tie before the end of the half, but Carlos Mezquita's shot went just high of the crossbar. The two teams went into the halftime break tied at 1-1.
In the second half, both teams would play back and forth soccer for the first twenty-two minutes of play. With 23:54 left in the match, the Banana Slugs committed a foul in the box which led to a penalty kick by Voja Maric. Maric converted on the penalty kick seventy-two seconds later, giving the Sagehens the 2-1 lead. The Banana Slugs had four shots through the remainder of the match but all four were saved or sent high of the net. The Sagehens won the match 2-1.
Diaz-Valdes had four shots to lead the Banana Slugs while for Pomona-Pitzer, Sigurdsson had five shots. Ben Mitchell got the win for the Sagehens while Christian Deguzman got the loss for the Banana Slugs. The Banana Slugs outshot the Sagehens 12-8 and had three more corner kicks (6-3) than did the Sagehens. The physical match featured twenty two fouls and six yellow cards.
The Banana Slugs will have a little more than twenty four hours to prepare for their next match as they will take on Augsburg College in Thousand Oaks at William Roland Stadium on the campus of California Lutheran University. Kickoff is set for 7 pm.