MERCED, Calif. - No teams were able to secure the win as the Slugs traveled to Central California to face off against UC Merced.
Banana Slugs started off strong, with 2 straight shots on goal, and then a goal in the 18th minute by Reed Miller, assisted by Luis Sedano. UCSC's intense defense kept the Bobcats scoreless through halftime, until UCM scored an equalizer off of a corner kick in the 57th minute. The Bobcats took the lead, which was short lived, as Ryan Nyberg bounced back, striking in the Slug's second goal in the 80th minute. The Slugs and Bobcats fought hard through the rest of regulation, as well as both overtimes, but ended deadlocked at 2 goals each. Head Coach Mike Runeare, in response to the overall game, said, " It was an intense game, they [UC Merced] reacted to adversity very well. We were down 2-1 in the second half, but we changed our system of play, the guys responded well to the change resulting in another goal to even the game."
Miller and Nyberg propelled the offense for UCSC, but Goalie Andrew Pimentel saved the Slugs from a loss with his stellar performance. Pimentel set a career high with a total of 14 saves, which is the most at UCSC in the last 30 years. Coach Mike praised Pimintel's performance, "He played awesome, he was under a lot of pressure especially with Merced's dynamic attacks. Their player movement was tough to track, but Andrew stepped up with saves from outside and inside the area, he handled it really well."
This draw puts UCSC at an overall record of 3-8-2 on the season. Slugs have under a week to prep for their next game against La Verne on Wednesday, Oct. 19th, in La Verne, CA.