After receiving a much needed break for Halloween festivities, the UCSB women’s club field hockey team (6-2-0) picked up right where it left off this past weekend, defeating UC Irvine and Santa Clara on consecutive days.
The Gauchos controlled the action in their game versus Santa Clara, shutting out the Broncos 5-0 with a balanced attack that had all of UCSB’s goals come from different players. Senior co-captain midfielder Joanna Klein scored the first Gaucho goal off a penalty corner, followed soon after by fellow co-captain sophomore Stacey Myers, who netted the Gauchos second goal of the day. Freshman forward Dani Laufer, who also recorded a goal against Irvine, rounded out the first half scoring, putting UCSB up 3-0 at the half.
“We try and focus on communicating with each other, playing as a unit, and keeping the intensity up,” Klein said. “The team goal is to take things one step at a time, and the coaches have really paid attention to that.”
Despite ending the first-half up several goals in what many would deem a one-sided contest, the Gauchos kept the pressure up, rarely allowing Santa Clara to advance past midfield. The front line’s ability to keep the ball in its possession gave the undermanned Broncos little chance to execute second-half shots, while the Gauchos piled on two more goals before the end of regulation, courtesy of junior Jaimie Wallace and sophomore Lauren Perry.
“[Santa Clara] came out strong, but [was] eventually worn down by our defense,” Co-Head Coach Lauren Hess said. “The girls have really grown together as a team, and we have been beating teams that we have lost to in the past.”
Even with its sixth consecutive victory, UCSB still trails rival Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, which has yet to lose a game this season. Luckily for the Gauchos, there will be ample opportunity to gain ground on the Mustangs, when the teams come together this weekend in back-to-back contests. Saturday’s game will be at home, and Sunday’s game will be held at Cal Poly. Although Cal Poly is favored to win both games, Santa Barbara certainly has a great deal of momentum and confidence going into the game.
“I know we are a strong team this year, stronger than all of the other teams in the league,” Klein said. “Cal Poly is our big rival, and we are looking forward to playing them this weekend.”