SAN FRANCISCO - After a long trip north from Orange County, UC Santa Cruz was eager to play a soccer game that counted, and they did at Division II Academy of Art.
The Banana Slugs held off the Urban Knights in an exciting 2-1 win to improve to 5-8. Kailas Dhond scored his first career goal and Jacob Myers Norys got to keep his 20th career goal just 37 hours after a weather cancelation at Chapman nullified his last score.
"A great win for the team. Everyone was focused and we played with a lot of energy," said head coach Mike Runeare, whose team improved to 5-8.
The physical game featured 30 fouls and three yellow cards.
UCSC scored 50 seconds before halftime when Dhond took a pass from fellow freshman Ronaldo Nava and blasted it home.
"Great goal by Kailis at the end of the first half. Second half, the team defended collectively and we produced several good scoring chances out of counter attacks," Runeare said.
The Slugs defended well in the second half with Andrew Pimentel recording save after save. UCSC finally got an insurance goal in the 85th minute when Dhond combined with Myers Norys on a fast break to make it 2-0. "Jacob's goal was off an assist from Kailis and helped us seal the game."
Academy of Art got a goal back less than four minutes later when Andrew Deans struck to make it 2-1 and set up a crazy final 1:15. The Urban Knights had one final shot with a corner kick in the last minute, but the resulting last second shot went high and the Banana Slugs had their second Division II road win in two weeks.
The host Urban Knights had a 16-11 shot advantage. Pimentel finished with 7 saves in the win and became the fifth Banana Slug keeper since 1996 with 100 career saves.
UCSC finishes its seven-game roadtrip at Occidental next Friday.