Despite the gloomy weather, the UCSB club men’s lacrosse team brought the heat this weekend with a pair of wins over ranked opponents in Santa Barbara. The #3 Gauchos (6-1 overall, 2-0 in Western Collegiate Lacrosse League) handled #9 Arizona 8-3 on Thursday night and ran over #21 Cal Poly 11-5 Saturday afternoon.
Thursday’s game was a big milestone for Head Coach Mike Allan, who notched his 100th win as a coach in the Western Collegiate Lacrosse League. Allan has turned the Santa Barbara program into one of the best in the nation, and he has led the team to two USL-MDIA national championships.
Saturday Cal Poly set the tone of the match by showing up late, and with the shortened warm-up hardly helping things, the Mustangs played pretty flatly. With the momentum from Thursday’s routing of Arizona, Santa Barbara started off the dead opposite of flat and tore up Poly with six goals in the first half and four more in the third quarter. Junior attack Brendan Sindell blew up the Cal Poly defense with four goals, and junior attack Ryan Brent matched him with three goals and a pair of assists.
“[Cal Poly] basically didn’t have very much offense; their defense didn’t match up very well, either,” junior defender James Guzik said. “We kind of shut them down. Personally, I don’t think they’re very good. I think they’re over-ranked.”
Thursday night the Gaucho defense shut down Arizona, who seemed unable to cope with the rainy weather. Senior goalkeeper Muncho Almerido anchored the long sticks with one of his best performances of the year, making 11 saves for a 0.786 save percentage. Junior midfielder Jack Miller beat the Laxcat’s offensive output by himself, with three goals and a pair of assists, both game highs. A pair of freshmen, attack Cole Bailey and midfielder Nick Nyeholt, both notched two goals apiece in the match, as well.
With the wins, the Gauchos have a few weeks off until they finish their five-game homestand with games against Northeastern and Claremont. Face off for the Northeastern game is scheduled for Tuesday, March 4 at 7:00 p.m.