Soccer team loses their first game in the UCLA Women’s Cup

By Steve Contorno

Illinois soccer matched No. 7 UCLA goal for goal until the 64th minute when the Bruins scored two unanswered goals to defeat the Illini 4-2.

UCLA scored the opening goal halfway through the first half on a breakaway. It was the only goal of the first period.

Illinois lost senior defender 10 minutes into the game on what head coach Janet Rayfield described as “concussion-like injury” sustained on a tackle. The injury forced junior Jessica Levitt to move back to defense, the position she played last year.

“We missed having Levitt up front,” Rayfield said. “It was nice that she was able to fill in because of her experience, but we missed her work rate and ball pressure up front.”

Illinois was able to muster up some offensive pressure and got on the board eight minutes into the second half when freshman forward Laura Knutson scored her second goal of the season. UCLA responded less than two minutes later with a goal of its own, but defender Emily Zurrer followed with her second goal of the season to even the match at 2-2.

Get The Daily Illini in your inbox!

  • Catch the latest on University of Illinois news, sports, and more. Delivered every weekday.
  • Stay up to date on all things Illini sports. Delivered every Monday.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
Thank you for subscribing!

“Knutson came off the bench and she might not know all the runs but she comes in with a nice mentality,” Rayfield said. “She’s quite the spark.”

UCLA then took control of the game and scored a goal three minutes later and another goal with under ten minutes remaining to put the game out of reach.

“In the end we didn’t sustain pressure on the ball throughout our team,” Rayfield said.

The loss puts the Illini at 1-2 on the season.

“Our team walked away dissatisfied and disappointed and that’s a good thing,” Rayfield said. “We came out on this tough road trip to become a better team so we can compete against this type of team in a couple of months.”

The Illini will play their second and final game of the UCLA Women’s Cup on Sunday against Cal State Northridge.