FRESNO - UC Santa Cruz once again proved that they could compete with a DII team on the field, as they took on Fresno Pacific Saturday night. Yet, the Slugs suffered a 1-2 loss to the Sunbirds.
Fresno Pacific came out on fire, scoring immediately after the 1 minute mark and again at 19:40, making it 0-2 early in the first half. UC Santa Cruz refused to let FPU score again. The Slugs continued to play aggressively, determined to assert themselves in the match.
Coming into the second half, the Slugs were insistent on getting on the scoreboard. Despite the combined 33 fouls committed by the two teams, UCSC stayed focused on playing their game. After two tough shot attempts by Rory Monninger and Ben Blackfield to start the half off, Will Barba finally put the ball through the net at 56:04 on a header after a corner, with James Allison and Gabriel Palomares assisting. It was Barba's first career goal and cut the deficit to 1-2.
The Slugs continued to play with vigor but were unable to catch up to the Sunbirds in the end.
Andrew Pimentel finished with three saves on the night.
UC Santa Cruz (4-5-1) will host Cal State East Bay on October 8th at 3pm, looking to contend with another physical DII team.