Menlo's six match win streak is now a thing of the past, after the Lady Oaks dropped their 2012 California Pacific Conference opener, 2-1 to UC Merced. Scoreless at the half, the Bobcats struck for two early goals in the second stanza, before Menlo's late charge went by the books. A 68th minute Kayla Cisneroz score cut the deficit to 2-1, but ultimately the Oaks could not produce the equalizer in their first defeat since September 7th (3-1 to Embry Riddle.) Menlo's record falls to 9-3, while Merced picks up their fourth win in a row in what was the program's first ever conference clash.
"Credit to UC Merced for coming in and doing a great job for a first year program. They are really doing some good things over there," Menlo Head Coach Scott Myers said shortly after the final whistle had sounded. "As far as Menlo goes, we just didn't take care of our opportunities when we had team. We had some pretty lackluster efforts from some of our key players that hurt us a little bit. I do think we had some bright moments where some players that haven't played a whole lot played very well today, so I'm happy for those players, but I am a little disappointed for the overall team."
Deadlocked 0-0 at the start of the second period, it took just four and a half minutes for the match's first goal. The Bobcats' Desiree Coles set up for a free kick just beyond the box, finding a way to slip it right inside the near post and past Menlo keeper Whitney Galindo. Shortly after, in the 59th minute, Merced doubled their advantage with a goal from freshman Rachel Bachem. The midfielder from Livermore, CA escaped past the Oaks back line of their defense, found herself 1-on-1 with Galindo, and finished for the Bobcats second score of the afternoon.
Menlo would respond with a goal from the aforementioned Cisneroz in the 68th minute, her first in her two-year collegiate career after a Kristina Roome cross wasn't cleanly gobbled up by Merced keeper Valerie Presiado. The rebound was then taken by Roome, who found Cisneroz for the Lady Oaks first score of the day.
Presiado and the rest of the Bobcats defense would go on to keep Menlo at bay, with the freshman keeper recording five saves in the victory.
The Oaks will have plenty of time to digest the loss, with the next Menlo match scheduled for Saturday, October 13th. William Jessup comes to town with kickoff slated for 2:00pm.