The UCSB women’s lacrosse team had successful results in this past weekend’s tournament in Arizona, as it finished the weekend with a 3-0 record. The Gauchos beat the University of Arizona Wildcats on Saturday and the No. 16 ASU Sun Devils 19-7 on Sunday. The Gauchos were ranked No. 7 in the nation during pre-season and won fourth place last year at Nationals.
“This was a huge weekend for us and two big wins,” senior midfielder Megan Dawe said. “We really showed how we can work as a unit and put two halves together. Each game and each play was a team effort.”
The Gauchos only lost two senior players from last year and had 12 returning players. They gained four new freshmen this year who have meshed well with the team. There are seven seniors who make up most of the A team to guide the inexperienced players to victory.
“We have a lot of seniors this year who already have experience playing at this level and will be excellent role models for the rookies this year,” junior midfielder Katie Mitchell said. “For the All-American league we have a pretty good team this year.”
In the game against ASU, the Sun Devils initially lead 2-0 in the first two minutes until the Gauchos were able to tie it 3-3 at the 10-minute mark. UCSB pulled ahead with a 9-6 lead at halftime. The Gaucho offense was better equipped than the Sun Devils’, as they were able to outshoot them by 31-18.
“Both offense and defense played really well,” Mitchell said. “Everyone pulled their weight on the team and we played as a fluid unit.”
Dawe led the scorers with five goals and one assist in Sunday’s game, with eight other Gauchos contributing to the final score of 19-7.
“[Our] A team really came together in today’s game and played for each other,” senior attacker Maegan Cruse said. “Nine different girls got to score — it was awesome. I think as long as we keep this mentality and positivity we are going to have an incredible season.”
UCSB scored the first three goals of the game against University of Arizona. They led by three points until the Wildcats were finally able to score 19 minutes into the first half. The pace of scoring was a bit slow, leaving the score 6-4 at the half.
The Gauchos continued to improve both offense and defense during the second half of the game. UCSB was able to score 13 more goals distancing themselves from the Wildcats and outshooting them 47-27 overall. The Gaucho defense was able to gather 33 pick-up ground balls, with Mitchell posing as the most dominant force.
“She is always a dominant player and comes up with the most ground balls and draw controls,” Dawe said. “She is always a large presence on the field and makes plays happen.”
The final score of 19-11 was largely due to UCSB keeping the team from scoring and maximizing on their mistakes, as well as outshooting the opposing team.
UCSB’s B team also came out with a victory over Northern Arizona University 17-6, leaving them with a rank of 2-1 this season. The next game UCSB will face is against University of Michigan on Friday in the opener of the Santa Barbara Shootout.