In its first conference road trip of the season, the UCSB women’s soccer team came up empty in its two games against Long Beach State and UC Irvine this past weekend. Despite leading Long Beach and UCI at one point in each game, it was a tale of two halves for the Gauchos as they faltered in the second half of each match.
The two losses this past weekend drop the Gauchos’ record to 3-9-2 overall and 0-3-1 in conference. Already four games into conference, the Gauchos’ chances at making a playoff run are in trouble, as they are still without a conference win and have only won one game in their past seven matches.
UCSB travelled to Anteater Stadium on Sunday, where they have been winless since 2005, but got off to a strong start on Sunday as freshman midfielder/forward Angelisa Cortez’s goal put the Gauchos ahead five minutes into the match. It was Cortez’s second goal of the season.
The lead was short-lived, though, as Santa Barbara gave up a goal in the 24th minute to go 1-1 at the half and then allowed a goal one minute into the second half. UCSB was not able to respond to the Anteater attack and gave up a foul inside the box in the 82nd minute. Senior forward Rachel Wood stepped up for UCI to convert the penalty kick and seal a 3-1 loss for UCSB.
“I thought the first half we did extremely well and as soon as they scored, our heads kind dropped,” senior midfielder Dyanne Anderson said. “We had our chances, but they just didn’t go in.”
In an evenly-contested first half against Long Beach on Friday night, the Gauchos went up 1-0 in the 22nd minute as freshman midfielder Sara Feder found the back of the net when Cortez crossed the ball to the left side. Feder’s goal, which found the upper-right corner, was her team-leading fourth goal of the season and her third goal in the last four games.
The 49ers regrouped during halftime and came out aggressively to begin the second half. In the 60th minute, junior midfielder Eileen Maes received a pass from sophomore defender Renee Mendiola and shot it from just outside the box and into the right side of the goal to even the game at one apiece. Just two minutes later, the Gaucho defense let up again and a crucial foul proved to be costly, as Mendiola lost her defender and scored a header on a free kick to give Long Beach a 2-1 win. The 49ers dominated the second half, outshooting UCSB 13-2 in the half.
“The girls played beautifully in the first half … I don’t know what happened in the second half,” Head Coach Paul Stumpf said. “The goals we gave up were mistakes, [which is] really tough.”