There was little that could be done to halt UCSB’s lightning offensive attack over the weekend.
The UCSB women’s soccer team took care of Oregon State University and Xavier University at Harder Stadium this weekend to improve to 5-2-1. The Gauchos allowed just one goal in 180 minutes of soccer.
“Our defensive system all started last season,” UCSB Head Coach Paul Stumpf said. “We’ve been working hard to play the zone to decrease the number of chances that other teams get.”
Friday night’s game against the Beavers (3-3-1) needed more than 90 minutes to settle things as the two squads were deadlocked 1-1 at the end of regulation. Then just 1:37 into overtime, junior forward Randi Johns received a pass and dribbled into the box to perfectly position herself for a shot that whistled into the net for the game’s golden goal and a 2-1 Santa Barbara victory.
Johns picked up right where she left off against the Musketeers on Sunday afternoon. Just 35 seconds into the contest, Johns sent a pass to senior midfielder Alma Martinez, who netted the initial goal. Only 1:19 later, Santa Barbara struck again. This time it was junior midfielder Krystal Sandza, scoring her fifth goal of the young season and putting the Gauchos up 2-0 less than two minutes into the match. The Gauchos kept pressure on the young and inexperienced Xavier defense for the next 88 minutes for a 4-0 victory.
Sandza added another goal, her sixth of the season and third of the weekend homestand, off of a beautiful cross from Martinez with 23:18 to play in the second half. Senior forward Alex Richey netted the final goal in the waning minutes of regulation.
The Gauchos have played spectacular soccer lately, largely due to the emergence of Johns. The agility of the transfer from Cypress College has impressed the UCSB coaching staff.
“She may be a newcomer, but we knew what we were getting from [Johns] when we brought her in this year,” Stumpf said. “What she brings is another weapon, offensively. She’s a very ferocious defender.”
The one-two punch of Sandza and junior midfielder Jen Borcich has already been established, but the addition of a talented third scoring option in Johns may just be the knockout punch formula for a spectacular season.