The UCSB women’s soccer team dropped two matches over the weekend in the Minnesota Gold Classic Tournament in Minneapolis after losing 2-0 to Minnesota on Friday and 1-0 to Marquette on Sunday.
UCSB (3-3) has dropped three straight on the road after winning its first three games at home.
[media-credit name=”Jon Kopecky” align=”alignleft” width=”250″][/media-credit]“We held our own in the game [against Minnesota and battled until the end but we just got unlucky,” senior forward Kailyn Kugler said.
Against Minnesota, the Gauchos would hold the game to a 0-0 tie through the first half, but Minnesota sophomore midfielder Allie Phillips put the squad up by a goal in the 47th minute of play after taking a shot from outside the box that narrowly flew past freshman goalkeeper Makenna Henry.
The Gauchos would let one more past them in the 88th minute when freshman forward Steph Brandt ran down the middle of the goal box for a shot and goal. Henry tallied six saves during the game, her most of the season, but it was not enough as Minnesota had eight shots on goal compared to just two for UCSB.
Against Marquette, who was ranked amongst the top thirty teams in a variety of polls, the Gauchos again managed to maintain a 0-0 tie heading into the second half.
“Due to the youth of this team we needed learning experiences like this to help us,” Kugler said.
Marquette (3-2-2) came into the game ranked within the top thirty in many polls and would prove to be a challenge for the Gauchos. Like the previous game, UCSB went into the locker room at halftime tied 0-0. But in the 72nd minute, the Gaucho defense broke and sophomore midfielder Rachel Brown’s shot was deflected into the path of freshman forward Maegan Kelly. Kelly slotted it in for the only goal of the match.
“We all need to get on the same page offensively and capitalize on the chances we create,” answered senior forward Kylie McDonald when asked about the shutout.
The Gauchos would be out-shot by the Golden Eagles 20-11 in the match, although both teams had six shots on goal. Kugler had an opportunity in the 86th minute, but a Marquette defender was able to clear if off the line to preserve the 1-0 lead. Henry had five saves in the game bringing her total up to eleven over the tournament.
“Playing top teams like Minnesota and Marquette help give us the experience we need for the [Big West] conference this year,” said McDonald.
UCSB returns to California to continue its five-game road trip, playing Loyola Marymount on Sept. 10 followed by UCLA on Sept. 12.
“I sure feel better about being back [in California] and I know a lot of the girls were really anxious to get back,” said Kugler.