In its final home games of the regular season, the UCSB women’s soccer team defeated the University of Hawaii 1-0 before losing a close contest to Cal State Northridge by a 1-0 margin.
Only able to win one game for its seniors this past weekend, the Gauchos’ postseason hopes are beginning to dwindle with only three more matches left to play.
“We played very nice soccer. They played with passion and they played with energy,” Head Coach Paul Stumpf said. “I have mixed feelings. I’m disappointed for them, but I’m far from disappointed in them.”
UCSB’s record goes to 4-10-2 overall and 1-4-1 in Big West play. Despite snapping a six-game winless streak with Friday’s win over Hawaii, the Gauchos were not as fortunate in Sunday’s loss to CSUN in the final match at Harder Stadium for seniors Erin Ortega, Dyanne Anderson and Lauren Kennedy.
The first half against the Matadors was a defensive stalemate, with each side putting pressure on the ball and the offense generating few chances on goal. With the match still even heading into the last 10 minutes of regulation, the game seemed to be heading into overtime until CSUN’s freshman midfielder Taylor Hobson was able to exploit the backline and score from 10 yards out, giving Cal State Northridge the 1-0 victory.
“It was very even — a lot of heart and passion. We just couldn’t capitalize on our opportunities,” junior goalkeeper Makenna Henry said. “This loss is just like the previous losses we have had this season. It’s all on us, we lost our focus defensively and we got caught.”
UCSB earned its first conference win Friday against Hawaii on Senior Night. Santa Barbara took advantage of a Hawaii team that has struggled on the road, controlling the game offensively and outshooting the Rainbow Wahine in the first half 10-1.
Breaking its previous trend of second-half letdowns, the Gauchos came out of halftime firing on all cylinders, culminating in Ortega’s goal in the 48th minute when she shot from 22 yards out into the corner of the goal.
The Gaucho’s defense proved too much to handle, shutting out the Rainbow Wahine, for the first clean sheet in nine games.
“Right away they went back to work with the possession and they did a good job of keeping the ball,” Stumpf said. “I think it was a nice 90-minute performance by the crew.”
The Gauchos now go on the road this weekend to face Fullerton and UC Riverside in another crucial conference matchup.