The UCSB women’s soccer team enjoyed its first taste of success after suffering through a discouraging jolt of three consecutive defeats to start its 2001 season.
The Gauchos recouped after an extended layoff by dismantling San Jose State 3-1 last Thursday and quenching the University of San Francisco 1-0 on Saturday evening.
Santa Barbara went on the road to face the Spartans after the team’s games against Indiana-Purdue and Oklahoma in Flagstaff, Arizona were postponed last weekend. Junior midfielder Jen Codington connected on the Gauchos’ first goal of the season in the 27th minute. Going into halftime with a 1-0 lead, UCSB went on the attack immediately. Senior midfielder/forward Brianna Preis scored 24 seconds into the second half off a pass from freshman forward Stephanie Thayer.
After Marie McCann notched the lone SJSU goal in the 55th minute, sophomore forward Alex Richey scored the final goal of the contest on assists from junior defender Katie Wilson and junior forward Erica Perrotta.
With a win under their belts, the Gauchos complemented a solid defensive effort with another equally decisive stand. At San Francisco, senior goalkeeper and Second Team All-Big West member Mary Gleason kept Santa Barbara’s nets empty for an entire 90 minutes of action for her first shutout of the season. UCSB rejected all 14 shots on goal by USF. Gleason had five shutouts last year.
Codington came up strong in her second consecutive game by scoring the only goal in the contest. Codington ripped in her third goal of the season from a cross by freshman forward Jen Borcich to the right of the Dons’ goalkeeper.
What is most surprising about Santa Barbara’s turnaround early in the season has been playing away from Harder Stadium. All three of the Gauchos’ losses were played at home, and UCSB is perfect so far on its first road trip.
Santa Barbara will travel to Northern Arizona on an added match this Wednesday for the final leg of the squad’s first road swing. The Gauchos will finally return home September 28 to battle Weber State at 6:00 p.m. The second time around, UCSB will hope the magic on the road will find its way back home.