Banana Slugs score early, hold off Urban Knights for 2-0 victory

Banana Slugs score early, hold off Urban Knights for 2-0 victory

SANTA CRUZ - UC Santa Cruz scored on two of their first three shots and held on in a 2-0 win over Academy of Art University.

It was the second consecutive win over a Division II team for UCSC, who improve to 4-5-1.

Like in their upset over Chico State on Saturday, the Banana Slugs dominated the early going with the first four shots of the game. UCSC got on the scoreboard in the 5th minute, when James Allison had a meandering run from midfield and let loose a 20-yard blast that went over two defenders and the Knights' goalkeeper for the goal. The Slugs doubled their advantage less than two minutes later when Jacob Myers Norys got a head on a pass from Mathias Cien-Meyer that sent the goalie the wrong way for a quick 2-0 lead.

After a slew of substitutions, the Knights got more possession. They almost pulled one back when a kick by Connor Henrichs caught UCSC goalie Andrew Pimentel out of position, but it was headed off the line by Aiden Durgurian.

The teams traded shots in the last minute of the first half, but both goalkeepers came up big and the score remained 2-0 at the half.

The visitors pressed after the reset, but a pair of Pimentel saves in the 61st and 64th minute kept the two-goal lead. The last Academy of Art shot on goal was in the 79th minute, whereupon the Slugs kept better possession to basically eat up the clock and claim the win.

"It was two very good goals," said head coach Mike Runeare. "But the important thing it was our first shutout. I'm really proud about that."

The Knights outshot UCSC 17-9, with a 13-3 advantage in the second half. Pimentel, the reigning AD3I Player of the Week, had five of his seven saves in the second half.

UCSC hits the road for the next six games, beginning with a visit to Pomona-Pitzer on Friday the 13th.