The UCSB women’s soccer team managed a split over the weekend, easily disposing of Columbia 3-0, yet dropping a 2-1 contest to San Diego State.
In Friday’s action at Harder Stadium, Columbia found itself overmatched by a physically and technically superior Gaucho squad. Santa Barbara junior forward Alma Martinez set the tone early, pouncing on a loose ball in the box and sending it into the back of the net less than two minutes into the game for a 1-0 lead.
At the 12:21 mark, freshman midfielder Kristyn Bright increased the lead in front of the Gaucho faithful with her first goal of the season on a pass from Martinez. Senior midfielder Jen Codington all but sealed the deal with her second goal of the season at the 46:12 mark.
Precision passing and a poised defense helped UCSB control the ball for an overwhelming majority of the game. Columbia rarely advanced the ball past midfield in the second half.
“We’ve been a lot more intense than the other teams and in the first fifteen minutes of each game,” sophomore midfielder and Santa Barbara’s leading scorer Krystal Sandza said. “We try to press hard.”
Sandza failed to tally any points against the Lions, but the two-time Big West Player of the Week did nail down her ninth goal of the season Sunday at San Diego State’s Sports Deck in the losing effort.
“[Head] Coach [Paul Stumpf] tells us to be selfish in the box, and so I take shots when I’ve got one,” Sandza said of her mentality and the reason for her recent success.
On Sunday, the Gauchos fell behind 1-0 at the 28:57 mark when Aztec freshman midfielder Erica Lopez headed in junior forward Kim Castellanos’ corner kick. The deficit increased to 2-0 three minutes later via an Arinda Alvarez one-timer. The Gauchos outshot the Aztecs 15-9 but could not capitalize on the applied pressure. The two SDSU goals were only number five and six allowed by freshman goalkeeper Jamie Considine in eight matches on the season.
Considine was not challenged by an inept Columbia offense, only having to come up with one save on four shots on goal.
“She’s a very good goalkeeper, and every now and then she does something spectacular that will either save a game or keep us in a game,” Stumpf said.
Stumpf will likely stick with Considine, who has started all but two games on the season. The Gauchos will trek to Colorado Springs this weekend to take on Colorado College on Friday and the Air Force Academy on Sunday.