by Kelsey Segren, Sports Information Assistant
SPOKANE, Wash. – UC Santa Cruz scored a quick second half goal to defeat the Whitworth men's soccer team 1-0 in the final match of the Whitworth Puma Classic on Sunday.
The Bucs (2-2) and Banana Slugs (2-2) battled through slippery conditions on a rainy Spokane afternoon. Whitworth finished with 12 shots, one on goal, in the loss.
The Pirates attempted to strike first in the 14th minute when Eric Shaporda took a shot from the top of the box off a free kick, but it just drifted left.
In the 25th minute, UCSC's Keith McCarty lobbed in a pass to Rory Monninger that barely hit the bottom of the crossbar.
With eight minutes remaining in the first half, UCSC's Gabriel Palomares slid a pass up the middle of the field to Kailas Dhond who made his way in front of Pirate defenders, but Jesus Nunez sprinted up to make the save.
The Banana Slugs got on the scoreboard three minutes into the second half as Dhond fired in a shot off a pass from Itay Rabinovich. This turned out to be the only shot of the half for UC Santa Cruz.
Whitworth kept up the pressure on the Banana Slug's end of the field for a majority of the second half but were unable to capitalize. The Pirates had a good opportunity to tie the game up in the 83rd minute, but back-to-back shots from Chase Reidt and Max Bennett were blocked.
The Pirates finish off their non-conference schedule in California next weekend with matches against Pomona-Pitzer (Sept. 14) and La Verne (Sept. 15).