Streaking fans and controversial officiating weren’t distracting enough to prevent the UCSB women’s soccer team from turning in a defensive gem en route to a 0-0 tie at Cal Poly to finish up its three-game road trip.
The Gauchos’ (9-4-2 overall, 4-0-1 in the Big West) seven-game winning streak remained alive thanks to strong play by the midfielders and defensive line, who were able to fight off the Mustangs (6-2-5, 2-1-2) despite being out-shot 40-9.
This was paired with a remarkable effort by freshman goalkeeper Catherine Burson, who faced 14 shots on goal en route to her fourth shutout of the year.
“She was mature beyond her years,” UCSB Head Coach Paul Stumpf said. “She had 10 saves and two or three were point-blank, big-time saves [that kept] us in the game.”
Santa Barbara’s offense was unable to produce any points in the face of over 700 fans and some controversial officiating late in the game.
“The referee clearly missed the hand-ball in the box,” Stumpf said. “He gave us an indirect kick instead of a penalty kick.”
Freshman midfielder Nicole Remmenga took the kick from six yards away, but the Gauchos were unable to get past the wall of 11 Mustang players with only two minutes left in regulation.
“Cal Poly is always a tough crowd” senior midfielder Molly Martin said. “The streakers were definitely distracting.”
The game continued into double overtime, but neither team was able put any points on the scoreboard.
Although they were unable to score, the Gauchos are pleased with their overall performance.
“To get another shutout, it’s just great,” Stumpf said. “Defending is what’s going to win us a championship.”
The Gauchos ended the road trip with a 2-0-1 record. Santa Barbara plays again Friday against Pacific to start a two-game homestand at Harder Stadium.