UC Santa Cruz tames Lions for ACAA Title.

Captain Peyton Bell (17) led the UCSC defense to their second shutout of the weekend.
Captain Peyton Bell (17) led the UCSC defense to their second shutout of the weekend.

UC Santa Cruz won their first Conference Title since 2015, defeating Finlandia 7-0 Sunday at the Lower East Field to claim the ACAA title.

The Banana Slugs finished the regular season 13-3-2 and have to wait a week to find out if they made the NCAA Tournament. Nicole Aceves had a goal in either half on a team-high five shots. She also assisted on UCSC's first goal on their first shot. Taking a quick corner from Julia Hernandez, she chipped it into the six yard box, where Maya Gonzales was waiting to pounce on the goalline after Finlandia couldn't clear it.

The Banana Slugs made it 2-0 less than two minutes later on Katie Herm's shot from just inside the box. 

Peyton Bell curled in a free kick to the top right in the 17th minute and Aceves converted a penalty in the 24th minute to make it 4-0.

Finlandia settled down and was able to hold possession and thwart UCSC's attack for 50 minutes. However, UCSC added three goals in the last 17 minutes for the final margin. Hernandez and Karina Bulli each had one before Aceves finished the scoring with a blast from the top of the box with 1:32 left.

Finlandia's goalie Sam Linteo had 12 saves on the day for the Lions (11-6-1). Alyssa Diaz-Tucker set a UCSC Freshman record with her 11th shutout of the season, UCSC's 12th overall. 

The nineteen goals scored this weekend pushed UCSC's season total to 67, the second-most in program history. The thirteen wins are the most since the 2006 team that finished with a program record 17.


All Tournament Team

GK Anais Uriarte (Mills)
D Zoe McKenzie (Mills)
Alondra Rios (Mills)
M Daniela de Pontes (Pratt)
D Daisia Knowles (Finlandia)
M Kirsten L'Esperance (Finlandia)
F Erika Lambert (Finlandia)
D Peyton Bell (UC Santa Cruz)
M Julia Hernandez (UC Santa Cruz)
Ame Streiffer (UC Santa Cruz)
Tomiko Hoshijima (UC Santa Cruz) MVP