The Oregon soccer team lost its first game of the season on Friday night in Southern California, a 3-2 decision to UC Irvine.

Before Friday night, the Ducks (5-1-1) had their best start to a season since 1981.

“Tough ending to the game,” head coach Kat Mertz said in a release. “We learned a lot today though, which will only make us better. UC Irvine is a good team and overall, it was a good battle on both sides.”

Jayne Lydiatt helped the Ducks score first in the 23rd minute. Lydiatt’s third goal of the year came when the freshman rushed the goalie after the ball bounced around UC Irvine’s defenders.

The Anteaters leveled the score in the 39th minute. Noel Baham scored off double service from Kiana Palacio and Grayson Galbraith. Oregon’s Kyra Fawcett scored first for the Ducks after intermission, a goal in the 52nd minute. Her third goal of the year gave the Ducks a 2-1 lead.

UC Irvine quickly answered with a goal just two minutes later. The score came off a header by way of a free kick.

The Anteaters would soon score again. Sammie James, with her first goal of the season, lifted UC Irvine past Oregon in the closing minutes. The Ducks had six shots (two on goal) and UC Irvine had 14 shots (seven on goal).

True freshman goalie Katelyn Carter had four saves and now has a 4-1-1 record.

“Our two goals were great by Kyra and Jayne and I’m looking forward to seeing how we respond from this when we return on Sunday,” Mertz said in a release.

The Ducks round out their short road trip with a game against Cal State Fullerton on Sunday afternoon.

Follow Jonathan Hawthorne on Twitter @Jon_Hawthorne

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