Although school has just started, the UCSB women’s soccer season is already in full swing. The Gauchos close out their preseason schedule at home as part of a soccer-filled weekend at Harder Stadium.
Santa Barbara (4-4) welcomes Arizona State to Harder tonight at 7. UCSB is coming off a 1-0 loss at Davis on Sunday, and ASU (3-3) was on the losing end of a 1-0 overtime decision against Oklahoma in its own Sun Devil Invitational last weekend.
ASU will throw junior forward and leading scorer Katie Leahy at UCSB to test freshman goalkeeper Catherine Burson, who completed her first career shutout in the Gauchos’ 1-0 win at the University of San Francisco last Friday.
Sunday, San Diego State (2-4-2) comes to Harder Stadium to face a UCSB team that is trying to gain momentum heading into the Big West conference season.
“We’re just trying to stay focused,” sophomore forward Chandi Bickford said. “We just need to keep doing what we’ve been doing in practice. We want to come up with a win.”
The Aztec defense will have to contend with reigning Big West Offensive Player of the Year and UCSB leading scorer Jennifer Borcich. The senior forward has racked up 16 points on six goals and four assists, as well as last week’s Big West Player of the Week honors.
The rest of the Gaucho offense has not slacked off either. Nine different players have scored goals this season, including two apiece from sophomore forwards Bickford and Allie Kueny. Borcich, Bickford, Kueny and senior forward Randi Johns have all helped out their fellow scorers, combining for 15 of the team’s 16 assists on the season.
“Confidence is the most important thing right now,” Bickford said. “We want to finish the preseason with a couple of wins.”
The Gaucho soccer weekend begins tonight at 7 at Harder Stadium and continues with a doubleheader Sunday. The UCSB men’s soccer team kicks off the two-game set, hosting UNLV at 2 p.m. Sunday with the women to follow at 4 p.m.