Two weeks ago, the UCSB women’s lacrosse club won three games to take home the Women’s Western Lacrosse League title, but that did not mark the end of the season. After a bye week, the Gauchos welcome in NCAA Division III Claremont College for a final tune up before heading to Scottsdale, Arizona for the Women’s Division Intercollegiate Associates National Championship Tournament. According to Head Coach Paul Ramsey, Santa Barbara is preparing for their clash with Claremont like they would for any game despite the fact that it does not count towards their conference record.
“It will be much the same as playing the better WDIA teams,” Ramsey said. “Last year we won 12-10 at Claremont in a February matchup. They’re going to be organized, they have a full-time coaching staff and they’re preparing for the NCAA Tournament so they’re going to really be going after it.”
The Gauchos plan to use this game as one last chance to learn about themselves in order to know what little things they still need to tweak before Scottsdale.
“It’s always helpful to play a team that we don’t know much about,” senior midfielder Katie Moran said. “It helps us learn to set our pace early and adjust quickly to other styles of play.”
According to Ramsey, Claremont, ranked #1 in the west in DIII, is one of the two best teams in Southern California. The other is Ramsey’s Gauchos, who ended the regular season 15-2, and are 18-2 overall after winning three games in the WWLL Tournament.
After hosting the 11-1 Claremont Cougars, the Gauchos will head to the WDIA tourney as the top seed for the second straight year. Though it is an honor to receive the top spot, Ramsey will not allow that to affect his team’s mental and physical preparation.
“The only pressure we have is what we put on ourselves, so being the #1 seed doesn’t increase it,” Ramsey said. “It wouldn’t matter if we were any other seed; the other teams are always going to come after UCSB.”