The University of Nevada soccer team fell 1-0 Friday night to UC Santa Barbara in front of 384 fans at Mackay Stadium.
With the loss, Nevada falls to 0-2 on the year while UC Santa Barbara, who entered the game ranked eighth in the West Region by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, improved to 1-1 this season.
The Gauchos scored the game-winning goal in the 53rd minute as Kailyn Kugler scored off a free kick from Alyssa Benjamin on the left side.
Nevada came close to tying the game in the 89th minute as Devin Noe took a free kick from the left side that UC Santa Barbara keeper Ali Cutler had to punch over the cross bar for a Nevada corner kick. On the ensuing corner kick taken by Kesia Broome, Erin Smith’s header went wide.
Nevada opened the game with a good scoring chance in the fourth minute. Emma Rice played Joanne Terranova, who was making her first career start, through the Gaucho defense. Cutler, who was off her line, cleared Rice’s attempt but her clearance went to Broome on the right but Broome’s attempt from 35-yards out went wide.
The Pack finished the game with six shots, with two by Noe, while UC Santa Barbara recorded 17 (seven on goal) in the match.
Nevada keeper Marie Cove made six saves in the match, including a close-range save in the 33rd, minute while Cutler made one for UC Santa Barbara.
Nevada will host UC Irvine on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Mackay Stadium.