With nothing to lose and only pride to gain, the UCSB women’s soccer team (9-10 overall, 3-4 in the Big West) took down Cal Poly (10-5-4 overall, 2-4-1Big West) in its final outing of the 2005 season to keep its longtime nemesis from enjoying the perks of the postseason.
Seniors defender Katie Cooper and goalkeeper and co-captain Jamie Considine finished off their careers by helping to shut out a Mustang squad that was nationally ranked in the top-20 earlier this season and had not lost a game to the Gauchos in the past five years.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better ending to my season,” Considine said. “To beat them and knock them out of the playoffs is the most wonderful feeling in the world.”
Considine put up a dramatic six-save performance that incorporated what might have been the save of the year against Cal Poly’s junior forward Sharon Day.
With 10 minutes to play in the match and the scoreboard unscathed, Day – an All-Conference player – broke free for a shot well within the penalty area, with only a solitary goalkeeper between her and the go-ahead score. Considine leapt to make an extraordinary game-saving stop.
“We gave them a little taste of their own medicine, with what they’ve done to us over the past three years,” Considine said. “The team came out and played for us tonight.”
Surely the upset would not have been completed without the efforts of young-gun freshman forward Genelle Ives.
Ives, who’s seven goals and six assists make her the most productive offensive player this season, broke the deadlock in the 85th minute during a scramble for junior forward Allie Kueny’s corner kick.
“Cooper and Jamie deserve a good last game because they’re amazing players and awesome role models for me,” Ives said. “I was just so excited and they totally deserve it.”
With the win, the Gauchos finish one place in league above the Mustangs and while they have the same league record as Pacific, who clinched a playoff birth, they lose the tiebreak.
Pacific downed UCSB earlier this month with a 3-2 heartbreaker in which the Tigers were dealt two penalty kicks on their home field.
But while the playoffs are not in the cards this season, the triumph over Cal Poly helps put a stop to the trend that developed over the past five years wherein the Gauchos were winless in the rivalry.
Over the past three seasons specifically, the Mustangs ended the Gaucho’s season by robbing them of a league title three years ago and Big West titles each of the past two years.
“I’m very relieved for myself, but more importantly for Jamie and Katie to get a huge win on their last home game in front of their friends and family against a team that’s knocked us out of contention for so many years in a row,” UCSB Head Coach Paul Stumpf said. “We’ve had a tough year and to finish off with two wins against teams that were ranked higher than us in conference because of all their results, it feels like we go off into our offseason with just a little bit of momentum.”