What would you do if you had to organize a two-day tournament and play seven games in the same tournament?

Most people would pass out from exhaustion but not the #6 UCSB women’s lacrosse club team. The team went into the Santa Barbara Shootout on Saturday ready to make a statement and win.

In six of the seven games the Gauchos played, they did just that. UCSB made the finals after defeating #2 Air Force on Sunday afternoon in a close 6-4 win. Unfortunately, San Francisco North, a post-collegiate team, stifled the Gauchos with a 12-1 thrashing.

“They played as hard as any coach could expect,” UCSB Head Coach Patrick Hagan said. “[This weekend] was an outstanding performance.”

Senior midfielder and co-captain Kiersten Wilhite has boosted Santa Barbara so far in the season, leading the Western Women’s Lacrosse League in scoring with 17 goals. Junior goalkeeper and co-captain Melissa Shaw has anchored the defense with 56 saves, good for second in the WWLL.

“I’ve been playing since my senior year of high school,” Shaw said. “Lacrosse is a pretty demanding game. It’s a challenge to push yourself, especially being goalie.”

The team will travel to the University of Arizona on Saturday and to Arizona State on Sunday. Santa Barbara is excited about being able to show its skills this weekend, but UCSB has marked its calendar for March 2 when UCLA comes to town. The Bruins frustrated the Gauchos’ offense in a disappointing 6-2 loss in the last matchup.

“I’m really looking forward to meeting up with UCLA again,” senior attacker and co-captain Jaime Tracy said. “[UCLA] will be shocked when we play them again. We’ve really improved from earlier in the season.”

The team’s improvement on the field can be accredited mostly to the addition of Hagan. UCSB had been without a coach for over three years. Hagan’s presence, along with several experienced rookies joining the team, has forced the veterans to step up their level of competition and dedication.

“The more they play together, and the more they learn to trust one another and to play within a team environment, they are going to use their skills to get us to the next level,” Hagan said.

UCSB boasts some of the top players in the WWLL, and the team is looking for more than just a playoff berth. The Gauchos are playing for a shot at Nationals with a gleam in their eye. UCSB currently sits in fourth place in the WWLL.

“It’s still early in the season, but so far we seem to be living up to our rankings,” Wilhite said. “Our team dedication has definitely increased since we got a coach. He’s a lot more demanding.”

The Gauchos have endured their share of bumps, bruises and broken bones to show that they can compete for a championship.

“Just because we wear skirts doesn’t mean we play like girls,” Tracy said.