'Dogs Drop Home Opener to No. 4/5 UCLA
Aug. 24, 2012
By Stephanie Juncker
By Stephanie Juncker
FRESNO, Calif.--- Despite a hard fought defensive effort in front of the largest crowd since 2009, the Fresno State soccer team fell 2-0 to the No. 4/5 UCLA Bruins Friday evening at Bulldog Stadium.
Sophomore goalkeeper Katie DeVault led the defense Friday night as she recorded 12 saves against the Bruins potent offense, which tied the school record for saves in a single game.
"Playing the level of opponents that UCLA is at is really important for us," said head coach Brian Zwaschka. "We know that we can do things that will help us play against these types of teams and that's the point of preparing for conference. We need to be more aggressive with what we are learning and what we are working on so that we can control a little bit more of the game. As we see these types of opponents and we start to gain confidence knowing that we can play then we will be fine going forward."
The 'Dogs played tough defensively in the first half and were almost able to make it into half time with a game tied at nil. DeVault came up with two huge saves in the 37th minute when she was able to stop two strong scoring opportunities for the Bruins. UCLA was able to break the tie with just over six minutes remaining in the first half when Bruin defender Abby Dahlkemper put the ball in the back of the net and move UCLA ahead 1-0.
"We were obviously pinned back by UCLA, but we just needed to stay organized and a little bit of luck and some distinct skill to make sure that we kept the game close. I thought the organization defensively was good considering they put a lot of pressure on us."
In the second half, UCLA was able to keep the 'Dogs on their heels with a strong offensive push. In the 58th minute Chelsea Cline put the Bruins up 2-0 after a strong cross in front of the goal by teammate Kylie McCarthy. The 'Dogs tried to push the ball forward towards the end of the second half, but were unable to put the past the Bruin goalie.
"(The crowd was) Amazing!" said Zwaschka. "We were super thrilled to have this kind of reception as our home opener. It was loud. It was vibrant and just exciting for the players. We look forward to hopefully having more crowds like that in our upcoming games."
The 'Dogs return to game action on Sunday when they travel to face CSU Northridge at 1 p.m. at the Matador Soccer Field. The next home game for Fresno State will take place on Sept. 7 at 7 p.m. against UC Riverside in Bulldog Stadium.
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