Ledezma's last-minute game-winner lifts UC Irvine in 1-0 upset of No. 6 BYU
PROVO, Utah -- The Anteaters got revenge Saturday night in the mountains of Provo, Utah, striking with 31 seconds left in the match to defeat sixth-ranked BYU, 1-0.
Zoya Farzaneh settled a ball and headed upfield feeding a marvelous through ball to the bloodied and bruised Natalia Ledezma. With the seconds ticking away and the keeper approaching, Ledezma shoveled a shot to the left of Cougar keeper Erica Owens and into the back of the net to put the 'Eaters up 1-0 after a long, hard-fought match.
UC Irvine (4-3-0) did something that only the national champion had been able to do in the last two years: beat the Cougars. After an overtime tussle at Anteater Stadium to open the 2012 season, UC Irvine had revenge in mind on its visit to South Field in Provo, and it accomplished that in front of 4,672 fans.
Ledezma's goal put her at a team lead with three on the year along with two game-winners. Farzaneh notched her second assist of the season while Jenn Randazzo was magnificent in net stopping three shots and earning her second shutout of 2013.
Ledezma was involved with most every aspect of the match. In the early stages of the match, she took an inadvertent elbow causing a cut above her nose to open. She returned to the match minutes later. She went hard in to challenge the keeper in the 53rd minute earning her a yellow card, all culminating in a game-winning effort in the 90th minute for the game-winner.
The Cougars are the highest-ranked opponent UCI has beaten in program history overtaking the 11th-ranked Texas A&M Aggies the 'Eaters beat early in 2011, which was also a road game.
The match itself was a very back-and-forth affair. Both squads had eight shots total and possession seemed even throughout. Even as the Anteaters began to push late in the match, BYU (4-1-1) forced the issue late with some tension-filled scoring opportunities.