On Sunday the UCSB women’s club lacrosse team traveled to Berkeley for Cal Play-Day, during which they competed in a series of four 25-minute skirmishes against three Division I lacrosse teams and one team from the Western Women’s Lacrosse League. Though the games were just exhibitions and will not count toward the team’s record, Head Coach Paul Ramsey was excited to get the chance to test his team against tough competition. According to Ramsey, the fact that his team was able to hold their own against NCAA players show that they can compete at a high level.

UCSB came away from Sunday with a 2-2 weekend record. Their first game was against WWLL opponent Chico State, who they beat easily by a score of 7-1. Next up was their first NCAA test, and it came in the form of St. Mary’s College, who handed the Gauchos their first defeat, 4-1. After that they were pitted against Fresno State, another NCAA team. UCSB beat the Bulldogs 4-2. Their final game was against Stanford. Though the Gauchos took an early 3-0 lead, the Cardinal rallied to beat Santa Barbara 5-3. Though the Gauchos were able to beat one of their Division I opponents, Ramsey believes that the losses were more significant because they taught the Gauchos about themselves.

“We’re moving toward playing at a faster tempo and pushing ourselves past our comfort zone,” Ramsey said. “That doesn’t mean we’re going to goal every time we get the ball, but it does mean that when we move with the ball it’s at full speed. It means when we are moving without the ball we’re moving at full speed. Change of pace is utilized to lose a defender but then we’re getting back up to full speed. For the defense it means making a decision about whether to pressure, slide, retreat, call for help, whatever, and do it quickly. So, to answer the question, the losses showed us that’s how we need to prepare ourselves to play.”

Both Ramsey and senior captain and midfielder Katie Moran were pleased with the teams overall performance and believe that it showed that their team can compete with any opponent.

“Our team certainly played up to their level,” Moran said. “We were beating Stanford 3-0 before they even scored. Their coach wrote us an e-mail later saying we scored on them more than Cal and St. Mary’s combined.”

Next Saturday the Gauchos will face off with two Division III opponents, Pomona-Pitzer and Redlands, both in the same day. Though playing two full games in one day will be tough, senior captain and defenseman Selina Eadie believes the challenge will be good for her team.

“Playing two games in one day is a definitely a challenge, but we are looking forward to it,” Eadie said. “Next weekend gives us the opportunity to improve from game to game and to test our stamina and drive. We want to practice putting 100 percent into every game, no matter how many that we play each day.”