The #4 UCSB men’s lacrosse team finished its weekend road trip to Arizona with a win and a loss.
The Gauchos (7-5 overall, 5-3 Western Collegiate Lacrosse League) lost a tough match to #11 Arizona 9-6 on Saturday, then rebounded with a 10-7 win over #18 Arizona State Sunday. UCSB will play its final two games of the regular season this weekend at USC and #22 UCLA before WCLL playoffs begin in two weeks.
The Gauchos’ first stop was in Tucson to take on the Wildcats. Arizona took a slight 3-2 lead in the first quarter before distancing itself from the Gauchos in the second. The Wildcats outscored Santa Barbara 4-1 in the period to take a 7-3 lead into halftime.
UCSB tried to get back in the game with a goal in the third, but the Wildcats posted two goals to take control of the game and a 9-4 lead into the fourth quarter.
The Gauchos scored twice in the fourth and held Arizona scoreless in the quarter but could not overcome the early lead. Senior Nick Stratton led Santa Barbara in scoring on the day, accounting for half the Gauchos offensive production with three goals.
UCSB looked to rebound from the loss against Arizona State on Sunday. The game was close early on, as both teams put two on the board in the first. The Gaucho defense tightened up for the remainder of the half, shutting out the Sun Devils, while the offense ignited to score three goals in the second period to take a 5-2 lead into halftime.
After scoring two quick goals in the first four minutes of the third to close the gap to 5-4, Arizona State looked headed for a comeback. The Gauchos regained control however, exploding for five straight goals take a 10-4 lead into the fourth.
The Sun Devils were not about to go quietly though, shaving three goals off of the lead while their defense held UCSB scoreless. The effort came up just short though as the Gauchos went home with a 10-7 win. A balanced offensive effort was crucial to the win – Santa Barbara had five players notch two points in the game.
This week the Gauchos will conclude their regular season on the road in Los Angeles at USC on Saturday and at UCLA on Sunday. Santa Barbara will be looking for a successful weekend in order to carry momentum into the playoffs where it will defend its conference championship.