It might not have been pretty, but the UCSB women’s soccer team pulled out a 4-3 victory over Cal State Northridge on Sunday night at a foggy Harder Stadium.
It was a different story Friday night when the Gauchos narrowly slipped by the University of the Pacific in a thrilling 1-0 overtime victory.
“This weekend’s two games were two totally different entities,” UCSB Head Coach Paul Stumpf said. “On Friday, we played smart, showed good skills and dominated a good Pacific team. Tonight we didn’t do a good job. We just came out flat.”
Senior midfielder Jen Codington ignited the scoring frenzy on Sunday when she capitalized on a penalty kick opportunity in the game’s first five minutes. After a Matador defender tripped Codington, the senior connected on a free kick past CSUN goalkeeper Jen Jasper.
Northridge tied the game four minutes later, but UCSB (9-3-1 overall, 2-0 in the Big West) regained the lead in the game’s 34th minute. Sophomore midfielder Krystal Sandza, on an offensive tear with 10 goals in four games, beat a diving Jasper with a laser into the left side of the net.
It was a similar story in the second half, with the Matadors knotting the game again on a penalty kick of their own. This time sophomore forward Jennifer Borcich waited only two minutes before putting the Gauchos ahead again, drilling an empty netter after a one-on-one with Jasper.
The seesaw battle continued as Northridge tied the match 3-3 in the game’s 67th minute. With less than 10 minutes remaining, Sandza scored again on assists from Borcich and freshman midfielder Kristyn Bright.
“It wasn’t our best game, but we came through and got the necessary goals,” Borcich said.
The atmosphere was different at the conclusion of Friday’s game. Sandza, in her first game since her five-goal performance on Oct. 6, pounded an off-balance cross-field shot into the back of the net with less than 10 minutes in sudden death overtime.
It looked more like the World Cup finals than a Big West Conference opener when the Gaucho players stormed the field and took turns hugging Sandza.
“Krystal scored two game-winning goals for us this weekend,” Stumpf said. “On Friday, she was great. On Sunday we didn’t see the same tight skills, but champions always find ways to win.”
Borcich said Friday’s game not only kept alive the team’s hopes of an undefeated conference schedule, but also improved team morale.
“The game was exhilarating,” she said. “It was a very aggressive game and the win definitely brought us together. I’ve never seen us like that after a game.”
Freshman goalkeeper Jamie Considine recorded her sixth shutout of the season on Friday and collected five saves during Sunday’s victory.
UCSB will look to improve its 2-0 conference record this weekend at Utah State and at the University of Idaho on Friday and Sunday.