UCR had the pleasure of celebrating a huge win against none other than UC Irvine last week. The win was a much needed energizer to revitalize the 8-5 team. Here’s a little context from last year if you’re new to soccer.
Source. Richie Osborne (14) beats UCI’s Tarek Morad (6) to the ball.
In the 2011-2012 season, UCR Soccer suddenly made themselves a massive threat and contender for the Big West Championship title. The team started beating teams nobody expected them to beat, including nationally ranked teams like UCSB, CSUF, and (worst of all) UCI. After the regular season ended, it was set that UCR would play its first ever postseason match against UCI. Despite massive support and a 2-0 record against UCI at the time, the Highlanders fell just short of a victory and let any chance at a postseason title slip away.
Unsurprisingly, UCI is now somewhat of a rival to UCR Soccer. On Wednesday, our Highlanders proved the rivalry is a one-sided one. A few standout athletes were Jimmy Martinez who scored a pair of goals, Juan Mendoza who contributed 3 assists, and keeper Ashkan Khosravi who had 3 saves before he was injured by an overaggressive Anteater. With 10 shots on goal and 4 of them slipping by the Anteater goalkeeper, UCR completely overshadowed UCI’s 7 shots on goal and 1 point.
Source. Aaron Long (12) celebrates his goal with Otis Earle (3).
This comes as good news; our Highlanders have been shaky in conference play with only 1 other win. Beating another conference opponent (especially UCI) should and will be a huge motivator to the team. 2012-2013 Soccer has some big shoes to fill as everyone expects the team to improve upon its previous season. The proof is on the packed stands and ever-growing Hylander Hype section. With some support and momentum the Highlanders are poised to take a Big West title this season.
Source. Hylander Hype supporting the Highlanders at Wednesday’s game.
If you want in on the action, the Highlanders play at home again on the 27th at 7:00pm.