The No. 1 UCSB women’s lacrosse team beat No. 3 Chapman University 10-4 at Harder Stadium on Sunday for the final game in the Western Women’s Lacrosse League Championship tournament, becoming the 2012 WWLL champions in the process.
“It feels awesome; it’s fantastic,” Head Coach Paul Ramsey said. “We focused on the same things as we have all season. We’ve been really focused on not worrying about the outcome but worrying about what we need to do to get to the outcome. It took a while, but this group got really good about not stressing about winning the game, but they went in and played hard.”
UCSB played strong and consistent defense throughout the game. Santa Barbara shut down two consecutive breakaways by the Panthers but gave up their first goal 13 minutes into the game. Senior goalie Jenni Centner had a total of 11 saves during the game, reinforcing the importance of Gaucho defense.
“I’m just too stoked, our defense though, I really owe it all to them,” Centner said. “They were able to stop [Chapman’s] two main scorers, and we were able to shut them down, and that just feels so good. Everyone just played their best game this game and it feels really good because this is my last senior game ever. I don’t even think I could have asked for a better season or teammates.”
The Gaucho offense was also executed very well in both halves of the game. At the end of the first half, the Gauchos were in the lead 4-2, where they had a two-point lead twice over Chapman. By the end of the game, Santa Barbara had the biggest lead over Chapman by six points, without giving up another goal.
“For offense, we focused on being really patient and taking our time with things and working together so not to force the middle,” junior attacker Lindsay Remigio said. “It’s an overall team effort, and we really played as a team and came out on top.”
UCSB’s top scorers of the game were Remigio and sophomore midfielder Blair Evans, both with three goals, and senior attacker Maegan Cruse for two goals and two assists.
Coming into the championship game, the Gauchos had come back from a two-goal deficit and defeated UC Davis 12-11 in the semifinal game and beat Arizona 20-16 in the quarterfinals. Previously, the Gauchos had fallen short to Santa Clara University but didn’t let the loss affect them.
“We just wanted to come out this weekend and continue playing like we’ve played all season,” senior midfielder Megan Dawe said. “We’re seeing teams that we’ve already played, but we want to go into each game with a fresh mind and not assume the team will be the same as the last time we played them.”
The Gauchos are now headed to the WCLA National Championship on May 9-12.
“I think Nationals is definitely going to be really tough, but I think we’ve faced a lot of the same opponents that we’re going to face at nationals here this weekend,” Centner said. “So if this is any tribute to what we’re going to see at Nationals, then hopefully it’s a good sign; we’ve never won Nationals so I think this year might be our year.”