College Soccer: UC Riverside Shuts Out Idaho at Home 1-0

The Highlanders Face Cal this Friday

Brianna Saldana

The UC Riverside Women’s Soccer Team (2-4-0) picked up its second win of the season Friday night as the Highlanders blanked the Idaho Vandals (2-5-0) 1-0. The match would belong to the defense and sophomore Brianna Saldana who landed her first goal of season, which would go down as the game winner.

“We have seen a real change now that we have full access to our roster,” Head Coach Nat Gonzalez said. “We had a lot of injuries to start the season, but now our practices are starting to get a little more consistent and we’ve been able to bring that to the field.”

The Highlander defense was outstanding throughout, behind another great performance from freshman Caela Kaio, who added three saves in each half for a total of six on the match.

“Caela is not playing like a freshman, she has done a really good job for us and we are lucky to have her,” Gonzalez said. “We look more organized defensively now and we’ve stopped giving away the silly goals we were allowing early on.”

As the first half winded down, UCR saw its opportunity and went on a late attack. The team’s pressure would result in a corner kick in the 39th minute, where junior Maria Gallardo and senior Amanda Roy set up Saldana for a great look in the box and the sophomore forward did not miss the opportunity to fire it in to give her team a 1-0 lead.

“We’ve been struggling with corners all year, but we have been working really hard to improve on them,” Saldana said. “As soon as Roy hit it, I saw the play and I was there to finish it.”

The UCR goal would be one of just two shots on frame for the Highlanders in the match, and they made sure to take advantage of it. The team continued to keep the pressure on the Vandas though, playing primarily in its scoring half and winning the corner kick battle eight to two.

UCR will now look to keep the momentum going next Friday as the team takes a trip north to face Cal.

“The two wins give us a lot of momentum,” Saldana said. “Now we just have to keep working and keep playing strong on defense, and go out there and give them to

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ugh match.”