Los Angeles Soccer: Fionna Connolly

COLLEGE: No. 7 UCI on top in Big West

October, 9, 2011
10/09/11
1:21
AM PT
UC Irvine took command of the Big West Conference race Saturday night, using two second-half goals by Miguel Ibarra to beat visiting Cal State Northridge, 2-0.

The match was a showdown between two of the Big West's three two-win teams and sent the seventh-ranked Anteaters (11-2-0) to 3-1, ahead of Northridge (5-5-1) at 2-1 and UC Davis at 2-2.

Ibarra (Lancaster/Lancaster HS) gave Irvine a 58th-minute lead through a give-and-go with Jimmy Turner (Mission Viejo/Misson Viejo HS) and a deflection off a Matadors defender. Memo Licona (Lake Forest/Laguna Hills HS) set up the second goal in the 89th minute.

In other men's action:
  • Sam Garza scored in the seventh minute of overtime, and No. 19 UC Santa Barbara (8-3-1) toppled UC Davis, 2-1, for its first Big West victory. The Gauchos lost their first two conference games, to UC Riverside and UC Irvine, but bounced back Wednesday with a 3-2 overtime victory over third-ranked Akron.
  • Osvaldo Bastida (Anaheim/Katella HS) scored in the first half for Cal Baptist (7-4-0) in a 1-0 win over Western Washington at the Grand Canyon Tournament in Phoenix.
  • Redlands (11-3-0) is closing in on the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title following a 2-0 victory at second-place Pomona-Pitzer (6-5-0) on goals by Alex Laughton and Will Walker. The Bulldogs are 8-0-0 in SCIAC play; the Sagehens fell to 5-2-0.

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COLLEGE: UC Irvine tops Fullerton

October, 6, 2011
10/06/11
4:31
PM PT
Juan Gutierrez finished a sweet sequence in the 67th minute and No. 7 UC Irvine prevailed on a rain-slicked field Wednesday night, edging Orange County rival Cal State Fullerton in a Big West Conference clash.

Jimmy Turner (Mission Viejo/Mission Viejo HS) also tallied for the Anteaters (10-2-0), who will face Cal State Northridge at home Saturday for the Big West lead.

Gutierrez (Santa Ana/JSerra HS) finished from a series of passes with Miguel Ibarra (Lancaster/Lancaster HS) as UCI won its second in a row after dropping last week's conference opener to Cal Poly.

Cal State Fullerton (6-3-2), which was unbeaten in its first six games, pulled even just before halftime when Michael Denny's free kick deflected into the net. The Titans are winless in their last three games and have won just once in their last five.

In other menīs action:
  • Luis Silva's goal 33 seconds into overtime lifted No. 19 UC Santa Barbara (7-3-1) past No. 3 Akron (7-1-2) in a battle of national powers that drew 4,340 to Harder Stadium and was televised nationally. Silva (Los Angeles/Salesian HS) also scored a 64th-minute equalizer for the Gauchos, who went ahead nearly three minutes later through Dom Sarle.

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COLLEGE: No. 7 UCI tops No. 10 UCSB

October, 2, 2011
10/02/11
10:13
AM PT

UC Irvine netted two second-half goals to win its men's soccer showdown Saturday night at UC Santa Barbara, sending the Gauchos -- a perennial national power -- to their second loss in the young Big West Conference season.

Miguel Ibarra (Lancaster/Lancaster HS) broke a scoreless draw in the 67th minute and Lester Hayes III added a second in the 80th for the seventh-ranked Anteaters (9-2-0), who bounced back from a 1-0 loss to Cal Poly in the conference opener Wednesday.

UC Santa Barbara (6-3-1), which was upset by UC Riverside in its Big West opener, nearly scored twice in front of 5,417 fans at Harder Stadium, but Irvine goalkeeper Andrew Fontein tipped a Sam Garza blast over his crossbar in the first half, and David Opoku shot just wide in a 1-on-1 opportunity in the second half.

The loss ended UCSB's 16-game home unbeaten streak.

In other men's action:
  • Carlos Benavides (Woodland Hills/El Camino Real HS) assisted goals by Yarden Azulay, Christian Gonzalez Diaz (Mission Viejo/Mission Viejo HS) and Edwin Rivas (Los Angeles/Santee Educational Complex), and Cal State Northridge (5-4-1) vaulted atop the Big West standings with its second 3-0 triumph, an upset of visiting Cal State Fullerton (6-2-2). The Matadors had a 28-14 edge in shots, and Fullerton lost star midfielder Kevin Venegas (Lakewood/Los Alamitos HS) to an 82nd-minute red card.
  • Matt Weisenfarth's goal just 52 seconds into the game was enough for UC Davis in a Big West Conference victory over visiting UC Riverside (6-3-1).
  • Danny Day, Gabe Ramirez (Pasadena/Crescenta Valley HS) and Charles Izydorek (Redlands/Arrowhead Christian HS) scored goals and Redlands (8-3-0) improved to 5-0-0 in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference with a 3-0 victory over defending champ Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (6-3-1). The Stags outshot Redlands, 27-14, and had a 10-3 advantage on corner kicks.

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COLLEGE: UC Irvine reaches final 16

November, 14, 2010
11/14/10
6:21
PM PT
Tanya Taylor scored one goal and set up another as UC Irvine, in its first NCAA Division I women's soccer appearance, advanced to the Sweet 16 on Sunday with a 2-0 triumph over regional No. 4 seed Wake Forest at Anteater Stadium.

The 16th-ranked Anteaters (19-2-2) will meet Washington (12-8-2) next weekend in the third round. The Huskies stunned second-ranked Portland on penalty kicks following a 1-1 draw.


Portland was one of two national No. 1 seeds to lose Sunday. Maryland was beaten on penalties by Georgetown.

Taylor (Buena Park/Sunny Hills HS) tallied in the 12th minute, her team-best 11th goal of the season, and set up CoCo Goodson in the 71st, her ninth, as the UCI prevailed in a tight, defensive battle.

No. 21 Wake Forest (13-8-3) managed just five shots, and only two of them on target, against a defense led by Goodson and midfielder Judy Christopher (Ontario/Upland HS).

TROJANS TRUMPED: Rose Augustin and Lauren Fowlkes scored in the first nine minutes, and seventh-ranked Notre Dame (17-2-2) romped to a 4-0 victory over No. 22 USC (13-6-3) in a Division I second-round game in South Bend, Ind.

Augustin scored in the eighth minute and Fowlkes in the ninth for the Irish, a No. 2 regional seed who gave what coach Randy Waldrum called “probably our most complete 90-minute performance of the season” to advance to a third-round game next weekend against third-ranked North Carolina (19-2-2), the defending national champion and a regional No. 1 seed.

Fowlkes also assisted goals by Melissa Henderson in the 58th minute and Adriana Leon in the 71st.

UCLA GETS NO. 1: UCLA (13-7-2), which beat Central Florida in a second-round game Saturday, heads north to face No. 1 Stanford (20-0-2) in the third round. The Cardinal held off Santa Clara, 2-1, as Marjani Hing-Glover and Alina Garciamendez scored goals.

NO AUTOMATIC FOR LMU: A late goal by Bryan Burke (Newport Beach/Corona del Mar HS) lifted San Francisco to a 1-0 victory at Loyola Marymount, costing the Lions (12-6-2) the West Coast Conference's automatic berth in the NCAA Division I men's tournament.

The Lions, who clinched a share of the WCC title with a victory Friday over St. Mary's, will await their fate when NCAA pairings are announced Monday. Santa Clara, which beat Gonzaga, 2-0, on Sunday, is the WCC's top seed because it went 1-0-1 against LMU this season.

REDLANDS ROMPS AGAIN: Surprising Redlands stomped host Cal Lutheran in a women's Division III second-round win, its second victory in 11 days over the Regals.

Fionna Connolly scored her third goal of the NCAA tournament and team-best 12th of the season to start the Bulldogs (12-9-0) toward a 3-0 romp over Cal Lu (18-3-1), which held a commanding 18-4 advantage in shots.

Connolly scored in the seventh minute, Chelsea Hafley (Redlands/Redlands HS) doubled the advantage in the 60th, and Jaimie Morton put the game out of reach with a strike in the 68th.

Redlands will play next weekend at second-ranked Hardin-Simmons (21-0-0) in Abilene, Texas.

NAIA BERTHS: Golden State Athletic Conference champion Vanguard (13-7-0) opens the NAIA men's tournament with a rematch of the conference tournament final, against Azusa Pacific (16-4-1).

Vanguard, which routed the Cougars, 3-0, on Saturday, is unseeded and will play at APU, whioch is seeded 13th. Cal Baptist (15-4-0) is seeded 11th and will be home for next Saturday's opening round against Holy Names (11-5-2).

GSAC champ Azusa Pacific is seeded third, The Master's (16-2-2) sixth and Cal Baptist (13-5-2) 11th for the NAIA women's tournament, and all received home assignments for the first round.

APU will open against William Jessup (11-4-3); TMC, from Santa Clarita, will meet Maine-Fort Kent (19-2-0); and CBU, from Riverside, will take Texas' Northwood (15-3-1).

Saturday's winners will advance to the 16-team, five-game-in-six-days finals, with the men playing at Orange Beach, Ala., and the women at Decatur, Ala.

COLLEGE: UCLA tops BYU on PKs

November, 11, 2010
11/11/10
11:33
PM PT
UCLA survived its first test in the NCAA Division I women's tournament, but just barely.

The Bruins needed goal-line heroics from defender Lauren Barnes, two saves from goalkeeper Chante' Sandiford and a perfect spot kick from Elise Britt to beat BYU on penalties following a 0-0 draw Thursday at Drake Stadium.


"This is the character that I've been waiting to see in this team," UCLA coach Jill Ellis told the school's website. "I was blown away by the way we competed. It's just constant belief that it can go your way, and that's honestly what it comes down to."

Burgeoning U.S. women's national-teamer Sydney Leroux nearly tallied twice for UCLA, but she hit the post at the end of the first half and was stopped on a 108th-minute breakaway.

UCLA (12-7-2), which is seeking an eighth successive College Cup final four appearance, on Saturday will face Central Florida (15-4-3), a 2-1 winner over Fresno State in the second game of Thursday's doubleheader.

The Bruins could be without star star midfielders Jenna Richmond and Kylie Wright (Rancho Santa Margarita/Tesoro HS). Richmond, a U.S. under-20 national-teamer, was stretchered off in the 17th minute with a knee injury; Wright had to be carted off 11 minutes later with an ankle injury.

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COLLEGE: Long Beach State wins Big West, NCAA bid

November, 8, 2010
11/08/10
9:18
AM PT

Long Beach State's women are headed to the NCAA tournament for the second time in three years after upsetting 11th-ranked UC Irvine, 1-0, in Sunday's Big West Conference tournament title game.


Defender Bo Rael (Rancho Cucamonga/Los Osos HS), an Oregon transfer, headed home a corner kick by UCLA transfer Nicole Sweetman (Oxnard/Oaks Christian HS) eight minutes into the second half to lift the visiting 49ers (14-5-2), who needed outstanding defense -- led by Alex Balcer, who repeatedly made big plays -- and a little bit of luck.

UCI (17-2-2) hit the goal frame three times, with left back Nikki Forrest (Upland/Upland HS) nearly pulling the Anteaters even with a drive off the right post in the 76th minute.

“We knew we had to have a game plan, we knew we had to be flawless, we believe in ourselves, we know we can beat anyone in the country with the right game plan and the right mentality, and the team's really come a long way,” said Mauricio Ingrassia (Los Alamitos/Los Alamitos HS and Cal State Fullerton), who has won three Big West regular-season titles in seven seasons as Long Beach State coach -- after winning five state and two mythical national titles at Long Beach City College.

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