Managing to power through a challenging weekend, the UCSB women’s soccer team finished with one tie against rival Cal Poly and one win against Cal State Fullerton. After tying the Mustangs 1-1 and defeating the Titans 2-1, the Gauchos now sit in fourth place in the Big West standings with an overall record of 11-2-2 and a conference record of 2-1-1.
The Cal Poly Mustangs are now in eighth place with a record of 6-8-2 and 1-3-1 in conference play, while the Cal State Fullerton Titans remain in second at 6-9 overall, 3-2 in the Big West.
Thursday’s Blue-Green rivalry was all that it was expected to be with a thrilling double overtime 1-1 tie between the Gauchos and Mustangs. It was an intense battle throughout a game that remained scoreless until late into regulation play.
It wasn’t until the 82nd minute the Mustangs were first able to get on the board when Chelsea Barry took advantage of a 35-yard free kick to put the score at 1-0. The shot over the Gaucho defensive front was just good enough to get by Gaucho star sophomore goalkeeper Brittney Rogers; her attempt to save the ball was just short of the upper left corner.
However, the Mustangs were unable to hold the lead for long, as just five minutes later the Gauchos responded on a penalty kick. Junior forward Amanda Ball was the force behind the kick after getting fouled in the box. This marks Ball’s 10th goal of the season, which ranks her as the first Gaucho to score so many goals in a season since star forward Jennifer Borcich scored 15 during the 2005 season.
While both teams were held to one goal apiece over two rounds of overtime, each had several opportunities to score in the extra 20 minutes of play. One minute into the first overtime, sophomore midfielder Mallory Hromatko attempted a header but came up just short of the goal. Hromatko’s header attempt was quickly followed by a shot wide left from Gaucho freshman forward Shaelan Murison.
The Mustangs also had opportune moments throughout the crucial overtime minutes. Barry took another attempt at goal in the 102nd minute of play, but her shot went too far right. After the miss by Barry, the remainder of the game stayed in Gaucho possession.
It’s safe to say the Gaucho offense put pressure on Mustang goalie Sophia Brown all night. UCSB finished the game with 25 total shots, outshooting Cal Poly by an incredible ratio of 25-9.
Brown had six saves on the night for the Mustangs. Hromatko led the Gauchos with three shots on goal while Ball and Maddie Gibson had two apiece. The Gauchos also finished the game with six corner kick opportunities while Cal Poly had none.
In Sunday’s game against Cal State Fullerton, UCSB set a much different tone. Kate Shoemaker got the Gauchos on the board first in the 32nd minute after some well executed ball control.
The goal was set up by a corner from Dakota Griggs that went straight toward Shoemaker, who settled the ball at her feet and ripped a shot off. The shot was deflected, but Shoemaker followed up on the rebound to release yet another shot that went straight to the back of the net for her first goal of the season.
The Gauchos set a comfortable cushion for themselves in the beginning of the second half when Griggs scored a goal of her own off Sydney Magnin’s corner. The shot zoomed right past Titan goalkeeper Jennifer Stuart into the left side of the goal.
About 20 minutes later, the Titans responded with a penalty kick after a player was knocked to the ground in the box by a Gaucho. Titan midfielder Sarah Fajnor took the penalty kick, aiming to the right of Gaucho goalkeeper Brittany Rogers and putting the score at 2-1.
Both goalies earned three saves on the day, while Gaucho keeper Brittney Rogers earned her seventh win on the season to improve to an individual record of 7-2-2. The Gauchos dominated on offense, outshooting the Titans 13-7. Griggs led the team with two shots on goal while Shoemaker, Ball and Magnin had one shot a piece on frame. Both teams earned six corner kicks each.
The Gauchos have four more conference games remaining in their season, with three of them being away games. UCSB will be on the road next weekend when it faces UC Riverside on Friday and UC Irvine on Sunday.