SANTA CRUZ - UC Santa Cruz comeback attempt fell short as the Banana Slugs dropped a 1-0 game to UC Merced Saturday afternoon.
In a first half devoid of great chances, UCSC almost got on the scoreboard when Rodriguez got on the end of Gaby Powell's corner, but the shot was saved. UC Merced pressed and had the better possession in the first half. Their best opportunity came in the 39th minute when D Covarrubias got free and launched a 30-yard shot, but it hit the crossbar and UCSC goalie Allie Mandel scrambled to cover the rebound before the Bobcats could reshoot.
After the restart, Merced almost broke through but for the goalkeeping of Mandel. A long distance shot was then parried out by Mandel in the 53rd minute, and 40 seconds later Mandel had to think quick as the resulting corner started to curve in to the top of the goal. The resulting rebound was hit over the bar. The Bobcats let a 64th minute shot from close range that was going into the right of the net but it was headed away by Archer. On the resulting corner kick, Mandel once again acted quickly to swipe away a curving ball to keep the shutout going.
Merced broke through in the 69th minute when Noodles Sidhu tracked down her own miss and shot it beyond Mandel's reach for what would be the game's only goal.
UCSC's last effort to tie it came in the 89th minute when Rocky Uyesaka got on the end of a Lim corner but couldn't direct it on goal.
UC Merced had a 20-6 shot advantage, with a 9-2 shot on goal advantage. Mandel finished with seven saves.
The Banana Slugs have one more game to close out the year. They play at the Lower East Field on Thursday November 2nd against Providence Christian College at 11:00 AM