IRVINE — In its effort to get off on the right foot Friday night, the UC Irvine women's soccer team relied heavily on the timely contributions of a fist.
Senior goalkeeper Danielle de Seriere supplied the necessary punch to propel the host Anteaters to a 2-1 victory in the nonconference season opener in front of a crowd of 810 at Anteater Stadium.
The veteran keeper leaped to punch away two would-be goals, including a potential equalizer in the final minute. And though denied her 21st career shutout when the Vandals cut the deficit in half with a nifty connection in the 60th minute, de Seriere's four saves were only a portion of the difference made by her right fist.
She also threw her knuckles into a bending corner kick to earn her second career assist on what turned out to be the winning goal in the 40th minute. The punch directed the bounding ball up the center of the field. Before it reached midfield, junior Alexis Rafael — just as she had in several spring training sessions with de Seriere — fielded it on the run.