The UCSB women’s soccer team seems more than ready to head into conference play after defeating the Pacific Tigers 3-2 and holding the Loyola Marymount Lions 0-0 on the road this weekend. So far this season, the Gauchos have only suffered through one loss and have tallied just one tie to put their overall record at 9-1-1.
Thursday’s game against the Tigers was an intense back and forth battle for the Gauchos. Aside from the victory, each player who scored celebrated her first goal of the season.
The Gauchos began putting numbers up on the board about 15 minutes into the first half on a goal by senior midfielder Dakota Griggs with sophomore midfielder Maddie Gibson providing the assist. The equalizer came about 20 minutes later on a goal by Pacific senior defender Eliza Hard off a nice cross from junior Pacific forward Samia Adam.
However the Gauchos took the lead just two minutes later when sophomore midfielder Mallory Hromatko drilled a shot into the net for a 2-1 lead. Gaucho senior defender Kailey Hackett provided the assist, her second of the season.
Santa Barbara extended its lead early in the second half when senior defender Savannah Francis took a pass from freshman forward Shaelan Murison, worked her way open at the top of the box and drilled a shot past Pacific goalie Melissa Ma for the third Gaucho goal.
The 3-1 score held until the 82nd minute when Adam nailed a shot over the top of senior Gaucho goalie Jacq Cagina to make it 3-2. The Gaucho defense stiffened the rest of the way, and Santa Barbara came away victorious again. With the loss, the Tigers continued their winless record dropping to 0-7-1 overall.
The game featured another strong performance by the Gaucho defense. They allowed only four shots during the entire game, with three on goal. Cagina got the start and the win (3-0) for the Gauchos and tallied one save in the game. The Gaucho offensive attack featured eight shots on goal, led by Gibson with two.
In Sunday’s game, the Gauchos played to a 0-0 tie against the Loyola Marymount Lions in a double overtime thriller. Santa Barbara controlled the offensive flow of the game with ten shots on goal compared to only three for the Lions. The Gauchos also dominated on set pieces with 11 corner kick opportunities while Loyola had none.
However, redshirt sophomore Loyola keeper Charlee Pruitt logged ten saves in the game to keep the Gauchos out of the net time and time again. Without a goal, Santa Barbara suffered its first shutout of the year.
Of the ten Gaucho shots on goal, junior forward Amanda Ball, sophomore midfielder Sydney Magnin, Gibson and Griggs each had two apiece. Gaucho sophomore keeper Brittney Rogers had three big saves in the game. Each team had eight fouls on the day.
Santa Barbara’s record now stands at 9-1-1 after the tie, while Loyola’s record goes to 5-2-3 after their third tie game of the season. With the tie against Loyola in the books, the Gauchos will now enter into conference play with a game next Sunday, Oct. 2, at home against Hawaii. The match starts at 2 p.m.