With a three-game winning streak, the UCSB women’s soccer team has had an excellent start to the season so far. They will put their 3-0 record on the line this Friday when they face the Pittsburgh Panthers at home in Harder Stadium.
UCSB has clearly put a lot of work into their offense. In just three games, the Gauchos have netted six goals off of 30 total shots with 18 of those attempts being shots on goal. On average, the Gauchos have taken ten shots per game and have earned 12 corner kicks. UCSB has played every game this season with intensity, and the numbers prove that.
Two of the Gauchos’ three games this season have been shutout victories and two have been overtime battles. This Friday’s match will be unlike any other game they have played this season, as the Gauchos have never before faced the Pittsburgh Panthers. While the mystery of the opponent may be a challenge, there’s no doubt that the Gauchos will have done their research.
The Panthers sit at a 1-2-1 record overall and have scored just four goals in four games off of 45 shots, 26 being shots on goal. The Panthers are known to be very aggressive and already have four yellow cards this season while the Gauchos have just one.
While UCSB may have to be wary of elbows, they need to be forceful against the Panthers on defense, and keeping their composure will be key when it comes to scoring goals.
The Panthers have a young talented duo upfront in freshman forwards Alex Wright and Cheyenne Hudson. Wright has scored three of her team’s four goals this season and will be a definite threat to the Gauchos. Hudson likes to attack, and her dynamic game has earned her two yellow cards this season: one against Colorado College and the other against Xavier. Gaucho sophomore goalkeeper Brittney Rogers, who has nine saves this season, will certainly have to be on her game.
UCSB will have some surprises of their own come game time. Junior forward Amanda Ball has done nothing but improve over her years at UCSB. Scoring a total of five goals in the 2015 season, Ball might set a new personal record before conference games even start. Over the 2016 season, Ball has contributed four goals off of 13 shots, while nine were on goal. She had a hat trick in her first game of the season against Fresno State which has set the tone for the rest of this early season.
Over the 2016 season, Ball has contributed four goals off of 13 shots, while nine were on goal. She had a hat trick in her first game of the season against Fresno State which has set the tone for the rest of this early season.
Also setting the bar high is the sophomore midfielder, Madeline Gibson. Gibson had an impressive campaign in her freshman year, starting two matches and playing in a total of 14. She had two goals and one assist.
This year she has already assisted on two spectacular goals, both to Ball in their game against Fresno, but a goal of her own has eluded her thus far. Both Gibson and sophomore forward Mallory Hromatko will be eager to get more ball action in against the Panthers. Hromatko has contributed one goal so far this season and has seen a lot of valuable playing time.
The Gauchos will host the Pittsburgh Panthers on Friday, September 2 at 5:30 p.m. at Harder Stadium.