The #3 UCSB men’s lacrosse team got back on the winning track in style Saturday with a 12-3 thrashing of Loyola Marymount.
The Gauchos (5-1 overall, 2-0 in the Western Collegiate Lacrosse League) used an overpowering first half in which they led 10-1 to spur their second conference victory of the season. Saturday’s win helped UCSB to bounce back from its first loss of the season, a tough 5-6 loss to #2 Colorado State on Thursday.
Santa Barbara’s offense had it going early and often in the first quarter, scoring two goals in the first five minutes of play. The Gauchos dominated the offensive side of the field, and, with five minutes remaining in the quarter, UCSB had a 4-0 lead and showed no signs of slowing down.
The onslaught continued in the second quarter, as sophomore Luke Shaw put UCSB up 5-0 just a minute into the period. Santa Barbara’s domination continued as they took a 6-0 lead seven minutes in, leaving Loyola defenders frustrated and looking for answers. Shaw scored his second goal of the game just 30 seconds later to give the Gauchos a 7-0 lead. Balls kept pouring into the net for the Gauchos, as junior Cache Jones scored just one minute later.
Sophomore Keenan Tabusa put the Gauchos ahead 9-0 with four minutes remaining in the quarter. Loyola finally got on the board with two minutes remaining, but UCSB answered right back with a goal by freshman Jack Miller with 26 seconds left in the half, giving the Gauchos a 10-1 lead at the break.
While the game’s outcome looked to be set, the Gaucho players knew things could turn around in a hurry if they did not keep up the intensity in the second half. Loyola came out with a quick goal 13:30 into the period, making the score 10-2.
The pace of the third quarter slowed down considerably after UCSB’s relentless and swift offensive attack in the first half. Loyola came out with more aggressive defense, though the Gauchos were still able to get four shots on goal in the period. Loyola pushed the score to 10-3 with 2:48 left in the third, and the quarter ended without a single goal from Santa Barbara.
UCSB put the game away in the fourth with a goal by sophomore George Granelli nine minutes into the 4th frame. A goal by senior Nick Stratton with seven minutes remaining put the Gauchos up 12-3, and that became the final score as bench players played out the final few minutes.
The Gauchos will next host #4 Michigan on Sunday at noon at the Pit, a rematch of last years MDIA National Championship semifinal game in which UCSB prevailed en route to its second straight national championship.