Despite offensively dominating its final non-conference game of the season, the UCSB women’s soccer team lost in sudden-death overtime to #13 Pepperdine 3-2 last night at Harder Stadium.
The Gauchos remained in possession of the ball for the majority of the game, outshooting the Waves 20-12. The match marks the most shots Pepperdine (10-2-0) has allowed this season.
The loss drops Santa Barbara to 6-4-3, extending its winless streak to four consecutive overtime matches.
“Without a doubt we played great against a talented team,” UCSB Head Coach Paul Stumpf said. “When you get a ranking like they have it means something.”
The Waves kept UCSB off of the scoreboard in the first half, jumping out to a quick 2-0 lead. Pepperdine sophomore forward Megan Woods started the scoring attack with a quick goal at the 24:15 mark. Waves freshman forward Lindsey Redlin scored on an acrobatic lob over sophomore goalkeeper Jamie Considine in the 38th minute.
“[Soccer] is a very difficult game to score in,” Stumpf said. “We try to create as many scoring opportunities as we can by trying to out-chance teams, and tonight I think we did that, but we just didn’t score enough to win.”
Junior midfielder Krystal Sandza scored UCSB’s first goal on a penalty kick at the 58:71 mark after being fouled inside the box by junior defender Ashley Swanson. A rebound shot fed by freshman midfielder Chandi Bickford led to Sandza’s second goal of the match in the 67th minute, tying the score at 2-2. The Waves remained scoreless in the second half despite firing six shots, two of which were saved by Considine.
The Gauchos entered their fourth consecutive sudden death overtime with a three-match winless streak. Pepperdine junior midfielder Ali Pavoni scored the game-winning goal off an assist from senior forward Lacey Ubaldi to end the match at the 91:52 mark of the first overtime. The Waves have yet to lose a game in overtime this season.
“This loss is a missed opportunity, but it doesn’t hurt us,” Stumpf said.
UCSB went into the match missing three starters due to injuries and disciplinary reasons. Stumpf noted the emerging play of freshmen midfielders Morgan Tanner and Lindsay Steinriede, neither of whom had started prior to Thursday’s match.
“There are four to six players who played a significant amount of time tonight that aren’t used to playing,” Stumpf said. “Those players established themselves as significant members of this team.”
Despite changes in its usual starting lineup, UCSB remained consistent throughout the match, staying on the offensive end of the ball and spreading its shots between 10 players. Sandza came off the bench to lead the Gauchos in attempts with five and remained the team’s lone scorer. Pepperdine sophomore goalkeeper Anna Picarelli posted four saves on the match for the Waves.
In their six remaining Big West Conference games, the Gauchos cannot afford another loss if they are to win the conference title. Santa Barbara is now 1-1-1 in Big West play this season.
“We have been very consistent all season,” Stumpf said. “If we can play consistently like we did tonight we’ll be difficult to beat.”
The Gauchos will return to play Sunday, Oct.12, when they host Riverside in a 7 p.m. Big West Conference match at Harder Stadium.