By Hye Kwon
IRVINE – The UCLA women’s soccer team battled the UC Irvine Anteaters courageously, but came away from the overtime match with a scoreless tie on Monday night at Anteater Stadium.
The Bruins’ record now goes to 6-2-2 overall, and the Anteaters move to 6-4-1.
The match featured the return of sophomore defender Sue Skenderian. She returned, after missing the matches against USC and Arizona due to a back injury, just in time to face the Anteater attackers who can rough it out with the best of them.
With senior midfielder Shawna Berke leading the way, Irvine got off to a hot start, outshooting the Bruins 4-1 in the first 20 minutes of the match.
“I think we had problems with Irvine’s physical play,” UCLA head coach Joy Fawcett said. “(UCIrvine) was winning most of the 50-50 balls in the first half.”
As the match progressed, the referee blew the whistle more and more as the physical play picked up as well. The Bruins were handed a break when senior defender Christine Awadallah of Irvine was ejected from the match after picking up two yellow cards with more than 30 minutes left in regulation.
The Bruins tried desperately to take advantage of the fact that the Anteaters would have to play the rest of the match with only ten players, but this advantage turned into a source of frustration because the Bruins could not capitalize on the situation.
“It’s always frustrating when the opponent is a person down and they still come at you,” Skenderian said.
The Bruins did have more chances to score in the second half. With 20 minutes left in regulation, forward Christine Sanders rolled a pass to forward Traci Arkenberg for a shot right in front of the goal. Unfortunately, Arkenberg got off a hard shot, but it sailed right toward the Anteater goalie.
The Bruins showed fatigue in the overtime, as Skenderian cramped up in both legs and others loosened their defense to allow Anteater attackers to come dangerously close to putting the ball in the net.
Despite the frustrations, freshman goalie Gretchen Overgaard continued to be a positive aspect of the team, as she collected her third consecutive shutout. She still holds her first-place regional ranking in goals-scored-against