MERCED - In a wild back-and-forth classic that had almost everything, the only thing that didn't happen in the soccer game between UC Santa Cruz and UC Merced was a winner.
The Banana Slugs and Bobcats finished in a 2-2 overtime tie Tuesday. UCSC (3-12-1) broke a six-game losing streak. Merced went to 8-6-2.
The game featured 38 shots (15 by UCSC), 17 corners and 29 total fouls between the two teams.
The host Bobcats grabbed the early momentum with a second minute goal for a 1-0 lead. UCSC held and answered 18 minutes later when Cayce Shaw pounced on a rebound to tie it 1-1. Shaw almost gave UCSC the lead in the 32nd minute, but her shot was saved by Ally Lozano as the Slugs piled on offensive pressure. Merced countered and almost scored 4 minutes before halftime but Bridget Villanueva's shot was cleared off the line by the UCSC defense.
The Banana Slugs gained a 2-1 lead 4 minutes into the second half when Amelia Streiffer took a pass from fellow sophomore Ava Colasin and knocked home a half-volley for her first career goal. The UCSC defense, led by captain Katie Schinnerer, then defended their lead, including repulsing three UC Merced corner kicks in a 2:40 span. "Katie showed a relentless work rate throughout the match," said head coach Lauren Nadler. "As a captain she also displayed her leadership qualities through her play."
UC Merced found the equalizer however with under 5 minutes remaining off of Jenn Salinger's goal. UCSC almost found the winner in regulation with two corners in the last 1:40. Alex Arce however just missed wide with UCSC's last shot of the half.
The sudden death overtime was evenly played. UCSC's best chance came 58 seconds into the extra time, but Shaw had her shot cleared off the line. UC Merced had a flurry with 4 minutes remaining, but the Bobcats hit the crossbar and then had both rebounds stuffed by goalie Allie Mandel. Merced had the last shot of the game with 6:20 in the second overtime, but D Covarrubias sent her shot wide.
Mandel finished with 11 saves for the second straight game (and third time this season) to go over 100 saves in her career, while her UCM counterpart Lozano had 7 stops.
The Banana Slugs return home for the last two games of the year, starting Saturday against Mills College at 11am.