The Gaucho women’s club soccer team is living up to it’s #1 regional ranking with a first place victory in this weekend’s UCSB Invitational tournament.
This was UCSB’s first year hosting the tournament, with six other teams in attendance.
“We would love to make this an annual event and include more and more teams,” Head Coach Todd Heil said.
The women felt a responsibility to uphold their title in this tournament since it was at home and Santa Barbara’s first.
“Since our coach did such a good job of organizing the tournament,” sophomore midfielder Kate Whittaker said. “We had to step it up as a team, and we were very successful.”
The women were extremely successful as they defended their spotless record with four wins. This season not one goal has slipped past the Santa Barbara goalies.
“We were 5-0 coming into the tournament and we finished it 9-0,” Heil said.
The women played their first game against University of Southern California winning 1-0, thanks to a goal from midfielder Julie Helmus.
“We played very controlled for most of the game, but in the end once Julie scored we finally got it together,” Heil said.
Later that day, the girls slaughtered Long Beach State 6-0 by using this year’s experienced team to their advantage and maximizing ball possessions.
Heading into the semifinal match Sunday against #5 UCLA, the women made sure to maintain their high team morale.
“We haven’t let in a single goal,” Whittaker said. “We wanted to keep up that positive attitude.”
Their spirit brought them a 2-0 victory, both goals coming from senior midfielder April Johnson.
“It was a really tough game, but we played hard and tough,”