The Gauchos traveled to San Diego this weekend to play against #5 San Diego State and #16-ranked UC San Diego. Saturday started off slow for #12 UCSB, but as the game progressed, Santa Barbara built team cohesiveness and did not give up against the Aztecs.
“The beginning was tough,” sophomore utility Jennifer D’Ana said. “We got really behind, but we worked as a team and came together in the end.”
Despite their efforts, the Gauchos could not match wits with San Diego State. The Aztecs won 7-4, bringing UCSB’s overall record down to 11-13 and its Mountain Pacific Sports Federation record to 2-6.
Later that day the Gaucho women played a second game. With the SDSU loss still on their minds, they knew what changes needed to be made.
“The first game really prepared us,” senior goalie Erin Enriquez said, “even though we did start off behind.”
Santa Barbara ended the first quarter down 3-0, but by the second quarter, the girls stepped up their intensity and scored two while shutting down the Triton offense. With the score 3-2 entering halftime, the Gauchos exploited their 6-on-5 advantage with acute plays and scored two more goals in the third. By the end of the fourth, the Gauchos had made a full recovery from any first-quarter jitters and took home a 7-5 victory, improving their overall record to 12-13.
“We played more heads up, and the game went well,” Enriquez said.
Gaucho scorers were senior captain 2-meter defense Mica Bell and D’Ana with two apiece, while freshman driver Sarah Kovich, junior utility Katy Kunkel and freshman utility Alaina Whitaker each found the net once.
“It was a really awesome game,” D’Ana said. “We were behind, but we ended up winning!”