The Cal women’s soccer team continued its free-fall on Friday, losing 2-0 to UCLA. The loss, which dropped Cal to 3-4-1 in the Pac-10, puts the Bears on the verge of missing the NCAA Tournament.
The Bears played Friday’s game with two defensive starters on the bench due to injury, with another starter joining them in the second half. The Bears had just 16 players available for the match.
Head coach Kevin Boyd was forced to play Brittany Kirk, his best midfield playmaker, as a sweeper. As a result, the Bears couldn’t get anything going offensively, managing just three shots to UCLA’s 17, none by leading Pac-10 scorer Laura Schott.
“Brittany did the best she could at sweeper, but she’s the only player who could possess the ball consistently today,” Boyd said. “We’re really struggling with our depth right now.”
The Bruins upped their conference record to 7-1, tied for first place, thanks to two first-half goals. Midfielder Mary-Frances Monroe kicked off the scoring with a 25-yard bomb over Cal goalkeeper Mallory Moser’s head in the 29th minute, and leading scorer Stephanie Rigamat slammed home a rebound from a Sarah-Gayle Swanson shot five minutes later.
Cal finishes the regular season against USC on Sunday, and it looks as if the Bears must win that game to have a shot at the playoffs. The Trojans will be tough, however, owning a 5-2 Pac-10 record going into Friday’s game against Stanford.