In 2006, the UC Santa Barbara Men’s Lacrosse team defeated the Chapman Panthers in a hard-fought overtime victory. The win added to their undefeated record versus the Orange County private university.
“We had never lost to Chapman in the history of our program,” said Gaucho Head Coach Mike Allan. “They were like our pesky little brothers who we had to put in place every year.”
In 2008, the home of Gaucho lacrosse, the Pit, was once again the stage for a battle of blood and sweat between the two hungry teams. However, this time, to the shock of a large, Spring Quarter bikini-and-tank-top-laden crowd, UCSB fell 12-11, with the ringing of a last second shot off the goal pipe resonating in the air.
“I may never forget the sound of that shot pinging the goal post … Never,” Allan said.
Ever since that fateful afternoon, some four years ago, the Gauchos have not bested the Panthers again.
This Saturday, the No. 3 Gauchos (11-1 overall, 3-0 conference) take on No. 5 Chapman (13-3 overall, 3-0 conference) on the dusty soil of the Pit in another fight for the division title.
“It’s no question that Chapman are our most hated rivals in the league,” Assistant Coach Doug Abate said. “We didn’t schedule this game last for no reason.”
It will be the final home game of the season, and the final home game for the team’s class of 12 seniors.
“It’s Senior Day, the sun will be shining high in the sky, it’s our last home game, we’re playing for the No. 1 conference seed, there’s rumors that their alumni are bussing out an army of fans from L.A., and most of all, [expletive] Chapman,” senior midfielder Aaron Hemeon said.
Hemeon is ready to turn this rivalry around in what will most certainly be the most ferocious contest of the season.
Come support the UCSB Lacrosse team this Saturday at 1 p.m. in the Pit. Let’s rally, Gauchos. My teammates and I are ready to put Chapman back in their place — with your help.
“The hay is in the barn,” said Allan. “It’s time we light that barn on fire.”
Jonny Kintzele is a fourth-year student and long-stick midfielder on the UCSB men’s lacrosse team.