The UCSB women’s soccer team had a rough weekend, enduring a tough 3-0 loss to the UC Riverside on Friday and another 1-0 loss on Sunday to UC Irvine. UCSB is now ranked fifth along with Hawaii in the Big West standings with an overall record of 11-4-2 and a conference record of 2-3-1.
With their victory over the Gauchos, the Highlanders secured their first conference win of the season, but remain ranked last in the Big West with an overall record of 5-10-3 and a conference record of 2-5. The Anteaters improved to 12-5-1 overall and 4-1-1 in conference play, ranking them third in the Big West to tie with Long Beach State.
Friday’s game against the Highlanders was decided early when UC Riverside scored all three of its goals in the first half. The action started in the 18th minute when Highlander senior midfielder Blanca Barrio rebounded her own shot to put the ball in the back of the net.
Just four minutes later the Highlanders attacked again, this time off of an assist by Barrio to junior midfielder Hailey Maxwell. Maxwell took advantage of the easy pass and put the shot right past Gaucho sophomore goalkeeper Brittney Rogers for a 2-0 lead.
The Maxwell-Barrio duo would strike again before the end of the half. After working hard to carry the ball down into Gaucho territory, Barrio executed a soaring pass into the box where Maxwell responded with a header that would send the ball into the far post and put the score at 3-0.
While the scoreboard said otherwise at the conclusion of Friday’s match, UCSB did have a few opportunities on offense.
Junior forward Amanda Ball was able to get one shot off, along with sophomore midfielder Sydney Magnin. Senior midfielder Dakota Griggs contributed with two attempts; the Gauchos, however, were unable to get any on goal.
The Highlanders finished with a total of eight shots while UCSB registered four, all occurring in the second half. Each team saw two corner kicks and two saves.
Sunday’s game against the Anteaters was another disheartening loss for the Gauchos as they were unable to come back from being down a goal in search of the equalizer. After putting a goal on the board early in the first half, the Anteaters’ defense was able to limit the Gauchos’ offense to keep the count at 1-0 for the rest of the game.
The only goal of the game was off of a UCSB mistake when Anteater junior midfielder Alex Karlowitsch intercepted a Gaucho pass. Karlowitsch was then able to transition the steal into an offensive play during which she made a clean pass to teammate redshirt junior defender Noel Baham. Baham then took a shot from 10 yards out to score what would be the only goal of the game.
While the Gauchos were unable to complete a single goal, they outshot the Anteaters 13-2. However, only two were on frame while both of the Anteaters’ shots were on goal.
Gaucho senior defender Sydney Fuertes and Magnin took the most shots for their team with three each. Senior midfielder Ashley Dean and sophomore midfielder Mallory Hromatko each had two.
“We would love to be as high a seed in our tournament as possible, but we have to win two very tough games late in the season to continue on to the NCAA Tournament, which is one of our final goals for the year,” Head Coach Paul Stumpf said.
The Gauchos have just two more games remaining on their regular season and conference schedule. On Thursday, Oct. 27, UCSB will take on the UC Davis Aggies at 7 p.m and will then face the Long Beach State 49ers on Sunday, Oct. 30 at 2 p.m.