In their last regular season game, the UCSB women’s lacrosse club team took the opportunity to show the rest of the league why they are number one. In what might have been their best game of the season, the Gauchos steamrolled the unranked USC Trojans 19-5.
From the beginning, the players took little time to get on the scoreboard with three goals in the first six minutes of the game. USC attempted to break the Santa Barbara momentum, scoring soon after the Gauchos went up 3-0, but the comeback effort would go no further as UCSB went on another long run of scoring to lead 10-1 at halftime.
One of Santa Barbara’s major flaws this season was its inability to put together a strong first half. However, on Saturday the Gauchos completely overpowered the Trojans, barely allowing them to advance past their half of the field.
“It was good [to have a strong first half],” Head Coach Paul Ramsey said. “Emotions were high because it was our senior game and all five seniors were starting.”
The second half started just as the first half ended. UCSB came out and went on a run of three unanswered goals and continued to score with ease as the team cruised to an easy 14-point victory.
“We have been working hard on seeing our teammates and thinking two passes ahead so it was awesome to see that come together,” junior midfielder Maggie Aker said.
The Gauchos made excellent passes all day and rarely lost ball control, leading to great offensive success. In addition, 13 different players took part in the scoring despite there only being 12 positions on the field.
“When we got back from spring break, Paul [Coach Ramsey]’s goal for us was to become a more dynamic team. We actually watched tape of a division one men’s lacrosse game,” senior midfielder Katie Moran said. “We wanted to be able to do behind the back shots, no look passes, and bounce passes too. By practicing these seemingly silly show-off moves, we actually got a lot better at using all our teammates.”
Offense aside, the game would not have been such a blowout were it not for a strong defense led by freshman goalie Jeni Centner, who was 10 of 15 on save attempts.
“Jeni has very quick hands and sees the ball well,” Ramsey said. “It takes a good shot from in close to beat her.”
Next weekend UCSB opens the postseason at home, as they host the Western Women’s Lacrosse League Championships. Their first game will be on Saturday at 10 a.m. against #24 Arizona State.
“Our league is extremely competitive this year which makes our playoffs challenging and exciting, and anybody’s game,” senior defenseman Selina Eadie said. “With such close competition, our goal is to play the same high level of lacrosse against every opponent that we face, no matter their ranking.”