The 35th Annual Santa Barbara Shootout ended last Sunday. Though some of the games were moved out of Harder Stadium to Rob Field to accommodate for rain that never came, the Gauchos did play all five of their games and came out of the tournament with a record of 3-2, and are now 5-2 overall.
The Gauchos’ first game was Friday afternoon against the University of Michigan. UCSB lost that game 7-6, but got their revenge later that night when they beat the University of Florida 9-6. On Saturday they had just one game against Brigham Young University, which was won by a score of 10-8. On Sunday, the final day of the tournament, the Gauchos first beat defending national champion Colorado State University 9-7, and then lost an overtime heartbreaker to the University of Georgia.
The first game against Michigan was the game in which the Gauchos played most inconsistently.
“We were lethargic against Michigan for some reason,” Ramsey said. “Preparations all week for a 51-team tournament, setting things up the day of the game and then playing a good team like that didn’t let us put our best effort out there. It was a lot to overcome.”
“Michigan was a loss from which we learned a lot,” senior captain and midfielder Katie Moran said. “We learned we have to come out ready to play from the first draw control to the last ground ball. Because we were doing a lot of work organizing the tournament and making sure goals were where they were supposed to be, we got distracted from our number-one focus: playing lacrosse.
The Gauchos had to battle back from being behind at some point in every game. Coach Ramsey said he is proud of his team for showing this ability and that it will help them later on. One major problem that the Gauchos had was struggling to score first. According to senior captain and defenseman Selina Eadie, this stems from the team’s “second-half mentality”.
“A challenge that we face is overcoming our ‘second-half team’ mentality,” Eadie said. “Our team has consistently dominated the second half of every game that we have played, which has been fantastic. However, the weekend also showed us the necessity of bringing our drive and urgency to the first half of every game. I think that we struggled to score first because we didn’t realize that urgency right away.”
Overall, the team is happy with their performance. According to Eadie, the team showed a lot of potential and played very well despite the enormous challenge of playing five games in three days.
The way the tournament went showed that the league is completely up for grabs this year. Judging by the heart and intensity that the Gauchos played with over the weekend, there is a good chance that they will be the ones to grab it.
“I’m happy with our 3-2 result,” Moran said. “We learned a lot from our losses. We also learned that this league is up for grabs: We upset the national champs, but lost to the number-10 seed.”