Perfection did not last for the UCSB women’s club soccer team, which lost 6-5 in penalty kicks to the University of Arizona last Sunday at Harder Stadium in the semifinals of the UCSB Invitational.
Arizona struck first in the game with a shot that went past senior goalkeeper Krissy Beaty to the upper-right corner of the post. After beginning 2006 with four consecutive shutouts, this was the first goal allowed by the Gauchos (4-1 overall) this season.
UCSB knotted the score 1-1 in the second half when sophomore forward Lauren Miller scored off the far post following a ball passed by senior midfielder Morgan Tanner. Tanner had two shots on goal of her own, and freshman forward/midfielder Marissa Haskin notched one.
“We played one of our better games. Coach said we passed the ball well and pushed it up-field well,” sophomore defender Loran Logie said.
In the end, it was the penalty kicks that decided the match. Both teams made their first five shots; although Haskin originally missed hers, she was awarded a second chance when the Wildcat goalie moved off the line before the shot. However, senior defender Carly Allen missed the sixth kick while the Wildcats converted theirs.
“What we need to do to bounce back from the loss against Arizona is understand what it feels like to not put a team away, and allow them to stay in the game,” Head Coach Todd Heil said. “We need to assert ourselves and decide the game within regulation time, not with penalty kicks.”
The Gauchos shut out Cal State San Marcos 10-0 and Stanford 4-0 on Saturday. Against San Marcos, senior forward Kate Whittaker and freshman midfielder Christy Riva found the back of the net twice. Allen, junior forward/midfielder Meghann Sadler, junior forward Brina Jope, freshman defender Rose Valliere, sophomore defender Carrie Petro and sophomore forward Hannah Sasson each notched one of their own. Haskin assisted in three goals and Katie Allen and Tanner both assisted in one.
Injury tainted the win against San Marcos, however. Logie tore her ACL and meniscus after a Cougar player ran through her left leg while it was planted; the ball was at Logie’s right foot.
In the win over the Cardinal, Sasson scored twice, Whittaker and sophomore forward Rebecca Mendez once. Senior midfielder Sabrina Littee, Whittaker and Sasson each registered one assist. Prior to the match against Stanford, the Gauchos defeated Long Beach State 3-0 and Loyola Marymount 2-0 on Oct. 7.
“We’ve always had a philosophy within the women’s club soccer team that defense wins championships,” Heil said. “We pride ourselves on not just giving up very few goals, but not giving teams quality looks in the offensive third. As a team we understand the importance of total team defense and our backline and goalkeepers have played very well together in a new system.”
Next up for Santa Barbara is the regional championship, which will run from Oct. 27 to 29 at UC Davis.