Los Angeles Soccer: Danny Nasry
A scoreless draw was enough to give UC Irvine command of the Big West Conference race.
The ninth-ranked Anteaters (13-4-1) held off a late Cal State Northridge push in the Valley to notch their seventh shutout of the season and improve to 5-2-1 in the Big West, giving them a one-point lead over UC Davis (5-3), which lost at UC Santa Barbara. The Matadors are 7-7-2.
UC Irvine has two games remaining -- Saturday at home against UC Riverside and Tuesday at Cal Poly -- and likely will need victories in both to claim the conference crown.
In other menīs action:
- Tim Pontius (Yorba Linda/Servite HS) scored twice to lead UC Santa Barbara (10-5-1) to a 3-1 win over UC Davis, knocking the Aggies to second place in the Big West.
- Cesar Diaz Pizarro (Chino/Ayala HS) scored in the 65th minute to give UC Riverside (8-5-3) a 1-1 Big West draw with visiting Cal State Fullerton (7-5-4). Oscar Aguero (Anaheim/Katella HS) tallied in the first half for the Titans.
- Gabe Ramirez (Pasadena/Crescenta Valley HS) set up goals by Evan Keny-Guyer and Richie Marquez (Pomona/Bloomington HS) as Redlands (16-3-0), the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference champion, romped to a 3-1 victory at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (8-4-1).
UCLA rallied from a second-half deficit, getting three goals from freshmen in just more than 12 minutes to overcome Loyola Marymount, 3-1, in a nonconference women's soccer showdown on the Lions' Sullivan Field.Samantha Mewis scored two goals and Kylie McCarthy also tallied for the fourth-ranked Bruins (7-0-1), who won their fourth in a row to close out their nonconference schedule.
LMU (6-2-1) withstood heavy pressure in the first half and asserted its attack after halftime, and Tawni Martino (Irvine/Beckman HS) provided a 59th-minute lead.
It lasted all of eight minutes. Mewis, a 5-foot-11 midfielder from Massachusetts who has starred for the U.S. under-17 and under-20 teams, headed home a corner kick by Chelsea Cline in the 67th minute, and McCarthy netted the go-ahead goal in the 76th. Mewis struck again three minutes later.
In other womenīs action:
- Cal Baptist won its inaugural Pacific West Conference clash, routing visiting Academy of Art, 5-0, as Amanda Lammers (Menifee/Calvary Murrieta HS) scored twice and assisted another goal. The Lancers (5-1-0), who had a 35-3 shot advantage, has won four in a row, the last three by shutout. The Riverside school, in its second year of transition from NAIA, is not eligible for the NCAA Division II tournament.
- Lauren Skachenko (Chino Hills/Ayala HS and Cal Poly Pomona) scored two goals as Costa Mesa's Vanguard improved to 6-0-0 with a 3-0 romp over previously unbeaten Bellevue (Neb.) at Menlo's tournament. The Master's, from Santa Clarita, also won in Atherton, edging Holy Names, 3-2.
- Kristen Enriquez (Alta Loma/St. Lucy's Priory HS) scored twice and assisted five goals and Megan Gonzalez (Upland/Upland HS) netted a hat trick and added an assist as Fullerton's Hope International (3-3-0) destroyed future Golden State Athletic Conference foe Arizona Christian, 13-0.