A lackluster first half performance against #24 Fullerton set the tone for a long Sunday afternoon for the UCSB women’s soccer team.
The visiting Titans (12-3 overall, 4-1 in the Big West) outshot Santa Barbara 22-7 on their way to a 2-0 victory.
The defeat extends the Gauchos’ (7-9 overall, 1-3 Big West) losing streak to three games after an impressive, yet unsuccessful, offensive showing against Riverside on Friday night left UCSB on the losing end of a 1-0 decision.
“The tough part of the weekend for me is the loss to Riverside, because I thought we were a little bit better than them,” Head Coach Paul Stumpf said. “We competed, we played hard, we got chances to score and we didn’t stick them away [whereas the Highlanders] got one chance and they stuck it away.”
At Harder Stadium in front of a crowd of 185 Friday night, the Gauchos fell behind in the 14th minute. A botched switch attempt from a UCSB defender led to a duo of missed clearing and then finally to a header goal by Highlander senior forward Vanessa Chanez.
The Gauchos, however, did not roll over to Riverside (10-3-1 overall, 4-0 Big West). Santa Barbara generated 10 shots to the Highlander’s six. But its attempts proved fruitless and Riverside walked away with the win.
“The bummer was that we didn’t get the result,” Stumpf said. “We had a chance to tie it up at one-one; we had a shot from three yards out that the girl missed and barely made it to the goalkeeper.”
Sunday afternoon’s game was more of the same in terms of result, but displayed a seemingly less inspired Gaucho squad.
“Today was a totally different story than Friday [in terms of effort],” Stumpf said. “I’m disappointed that we didn’t come out and compete, didn’t play smart and barely played hard through the first half.”
One notably first-rate performance that came out of the Fullerton match was Jamie Considine’s season-high 11 -save performance that kept the score from getting out of hand.
“Jamie has been under more pressure than she has been under in the past and she’s handled herself very well,” Stumpf said. “Today was more of the same.”
When the teams trudged off the field for halftime, Santa Barbara had mustered only two shots in contrast to Fullerton’s 13.
“We went into halftime and I talked to them and said, ‘Look, I’m only going to go with those kids that are willing to battle and those kids who I’m confident will go work their butts off for the entire 45 minutes,'” Stumpf said. “We picked a group of kids and it changed, it got way better in the second half, as far as limiting their quality chances.”
Several freshmen got an opportunity to play a lot of minutes that they normally might not have.
“Rachael Ritchey played 65 minutes and was great at left back [and] Sami Svrcek played 55 minutes and was great out of the right midfield,” Stumpf said. “We had a bunch of kids that don’t normally play much that got tons of minutes against a nationally ranked team and they held their own. I think they can go home feeling really good about what they’ve done.”
Scores for the Titans came in the 33rd minute on an unassisted breakaway goal by senior forward Kandace Wilson and in the 53rd minute when Wilson again broke free downfield on the right flank and fed a dangerous cross on the ground to freshman forward Sara Johnson.