SAN DIEGO – Amber Michel stopped a penalty kick and made five saves but it was not enough to overcome an early deficit as San Diego dropped a 1-0 decision against UC Irvine on Friday evening.
With the Toreros (1-6) down 1-0, the Anteaters (4-1-3) were awarded a penalty kick in the 29th minute. UC Irvine’s Kiana Palacios stepped to the penalty spot and hit a hard shot to the left side of the goal.
Michel guessed correctly and parried the shot away from goal to preserve the one goal deficit and keep USD within striking distance.
The Toreros defense was under consistent pressure in the first half, with the Anteaters holding an 11-1 shot advantage. USD’s backline answered the call and did well to make sure UC Irvine did not extend its early lead.
The hard work paid off as the Toreros found its rhythm in the second half and limited the Anteaters opportunities.
The Toreros best offensive opportunity came in the 52nd minute when Katie Lapomarda received a crafty behind-the-back heel-pass from a teammate to get behind the UC Irvine defense. Lapomarda hammered a right-footed shot that missed the top left corner of the goal by inches.
USD pressed forward toward the end of the half but was unable to generate the equalizing goal to send the game to overtime.
The Toreros will look to bounce back Sunday at 1 p.m. (PT) when they play host to the defending national champions, No. 12 USC.
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