The UCSB women’s soccer team is looking to steer its way back to the win column in the second weekend of Big West action.
After a disappointing 2-0 loss to Northridge, the Gauchos will shoot to improve upon their 1-1 conference record tonight when they host fifth-place Utah State (5-6-1 overall, 2-2-0 Big West) at Harder Stadium. Idaho is on the bill for Sunday’s game.
“This is an important weekend for us,” junior midfielder Erica Perrotta said. “We are really excited to be playing two games at home in front of our home crowd and families.”
Utah State bottomed out the Big West in its 2000 campaign, finishing a mere 3-5-0 in conference – good for eighth place in a league with nine teams. This year has been a different tale for the Aggies, who are on track to have the best season in the program’s short five years of existence. After coming up empty on its first two tries in conference play, USU went into its second weekend with only one goal in mind: to win.
And it did not come away empty-handed. After a 3-0 drubbing of the squad from Riverside on Friday, Utah State went on to snap Fullerton’s seven-game winning streak by a score of 1-0 to conclude a successful weekend. It was the first time this season the Aggies have been able to secure back-to-back wins, as well as the first time in school history that they were able to shut out two teams in a row.
Sophomore forward Amber Tracy, who has run the Aggie offense all season long, has been the glue holding the squad together. She leads the team with six goals and one assist, good for five more goals than she had during her entire freshman season.
The Gauchos will face the Vandals after USU. Idaho is searching for its first win in Big West play. The Vandals started off conference action with a 2-2 tie to Irvine. But things only got worse for them, as they dropped their next three decisions to Long Beach State, Fullerton and Riverside.
Sophomore forward/midfielder Emily Nelson leads the team with four goals on the season. But Idaho has plenty of firepower. Nelson is just one of 12 players on the Vandal roster who has notched at least one goal this season.
Going into the second weekend of Big West play, Santa Barbara is as determined as ever to take care of business on the field in its quest for the conference championship.
“We have all of the elements to win in the Big West. But for now, we are focusing on getting these two wins at home this weekend,” junior defender Katie Wilson said.
UCSB will match up against Utah State tonight at 8:00 following the men’s game, and then will lace up again for a 1:00 kickoff against Idaho on Sunday.