Weber State soccer battles, falls 2-0 to No. 1 UCLA

Sunday , September 03, 2017 - 10:08 PM

BOB JUDSON, Standard-Examiner Correspondent

OGDEN — In hosting the nation’s No.1-ranked UCLA women’s soccer team, Weber State had a chance to make a statement and it did — UCLA is really good, but the Wildcats aren’t so bad either.

Playing the Bruins to a first half tie, Weber State allowed an early goal in the second half and then a meaningless score as time ran out, falling to UCLA 2-0 on Sunday evening at Wildcat Soccer field.

Gabrielle Matulich placed a ball from in front of the net just under the crossbar and over the outstretched reach of goalkeeper Nikki Pittman in the 48th minute and Weber State was not able to get on the board throughout the night against a tough UCLA defense.

“They create a pseudo pressure and players feel like they’re under more pressure than they really are,” Weber State coach Tim Crompton said. “It can make you lose composure a little bit, but we’re a good defensive squad and just need to figure out a way to score goals.”

UCLA scored its second goal with eight seconds left when Julia Hernandez slipped one into the net.

“We were trying to sneak one in and they got a goal with a few seconds left. 1-0, 2-0, it’s all the same. We could have sat back and kept it at one,” Crompton said.

Weber State played the Bruins scoreless in the first half, but UCLA took nine shots compared to the ‘Cats one.

“We had a couple of moments where maybe we could have had something going, but we couldn’t score the ball,” Crompton said. “In the first half, I thought we did really well.

“We just got a little fatigued in the second half when we started pushing players forward.”

The Wildcats set a new field record with 1,682 fans hoping for an upset, but Weber State just wasn’t able to mount an attack with only two shots on goal for the game.

Weber State next plays at North Texas on Sept. 8, returning home Sept. 15 to host Boise State. Big Sky Conference play begins Sept. 22.

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