Coming off two tough road defeats against UC Riverside and CSU Fullerton, the Fresno State Bulldogs soccer team was looking for momentum at home against UC Santa Barbara on Thursday.
However the ‘Dogs lost the match against the Gauchos, 2-1, giving the Bulldogs a 1-4-1 record and a three-game losing streak early in the season.
Fresno State started the game by scoring within the first two minutes thanks to midfielder Melissa Ellis. It was her second goal of the season. From then on, the Bulldogs seemed to lose possession of the ball.
The Gauchos dominated the number of shots in the half, but were unable to capitalize due to Bulldogs senior goalkeeper Nichole Theroux. Fresno State kept their defensive composure and finished the first half of the game with the one-goal advantage.
UCSB continued their aggressiveness in the second half and equalized the score in the first seven minutes.
For the rest of the second half, the game opened up for both teams – each side having more scoring opportunities. The Gauchos took advantage of the situation and managed to get inside the Bulldogs’ box on numerous occasions.
This led to the Bulldogs’ defense to commit a foul in the box in the 74th minute, and the referee declared a penalty kick for UCSB. The Gauchos scored on the penalty to go up 2-1.
The ‘Dogs turned the pressure up on UCSB, trying to get more chances on target to tie the game. Time was not on the side of the Bulldogs, who managed to have some of the most exciting plays of the match trying for the tying goal.
Fresno State had several chances to score, especially in set pieces that the offense mismanaged. UCSB didn’t just stay behind, and defended the ‘Dogs’ attack. They also employed a counter attack and had a few dangerous plays that kept Fresno State on their toes.
“We got off to a good start and executed a lot of the little things we been working on, but a good team like thats in form is going to take their chances and they did,’’ head coach Brian Zwaschka said after the game. “When we play the way we want to play, we create the chances, but we also need to find a little bit of luck too.”