UC Merced women's soccer team dominates, but loses 1-0 to William Jessup

slynch@mercedsunstar.comSeptember 24, 2013 

— Megan Atoigue looked over the postgame stat sheet and couldn't help but laugh out of frustration.

The piece of paper only confirmed what the UC Merced women's soccer coach already knew.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Golden Bobcats dominated William Jessup in every statistical category except the one that matters most.

One week after striking the back of the net 13 times in its season opener, UCM peppered the Warriors' goal to no avail. A veteran William Jessup squad took full advantage, scoring on a counterattack in the 59th minute to steal a 1-0 victory at Bowl Field.

"We didn't capitalize on chances. It's as simple as that," Atoigue said. "We outplayed them. We outshot them, and they scored on basically their only chance.

"I can't be mad at the effort. It's just how soccer goes sometimes."

UC Merced controlled the game from the opening whistle, but its attack was often rushed.

The Bobcats (1-1, 0-1 California Pacific Conference) routinely tried to one- or two-touch the ball up to its attacking players.

The results were often slightly too heavy passes, that goalkeeper Katelyn James (nine saves) or her defense gobbled up.

The tactic did have effective moments, such as when Veronica Villacorta found some free space down the left wing in the 20th minute.

The freshman winger chipped a bouncing ball for the far post, but it curled just wide.

Merced held a 9-1 shot lead at halftime, but most of the efforts failed to trouble James.

The Bobcats' best chance of the match came in the 36th minute off of a wild scramble in the 18-yard box.

The ball bounced off a couple of bodies before falling to the feet of striker Claudia Diaz.

UCM's leading scorer got just enough on the shot to beat James, but had the ball cleared off of the line by Warriors outside back Lauren Young.

It would prove to be a pivotal moment in the match.

Villacorta was carted off of the field with an apparent knee injury in the first half and the Bobcat attack was never quite as potent after.

William Jessup (5-1, 3-0 Cal Pac) only managed two shots on goal in the game, but both came in the same decisive sequence.

Alyssa Wimmer was sprung free down the right wing with some good passing and the senior striker fired a low drive on net.

Maggie Morales made a big diving save, but had the rebound glance off of the post and carom right to Rocio Ruiz.

Ruiz easily finished for the game's only goal.

"The first half everyone was where they were supposed to be," striker Sidiqa Hooker said. "The second half I think we were tired. There was a lot more standing around, waiting for someone else to do something.

"We need to do better for the full 90 minutes."

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