Broncos Rally but Fall Short of Defeating UCSB

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On a warm sunny Sunday afternoon the #1 ranked UC Santa Barbara Gauchos defeated the Broncos by a margin of 12-11. The loss is Santa Clara's second one goal loss of the season to a top ranked opponent; the first coming at the hands of #2 Colorado State back on Feb. 16th. The Broncos started slow, going down 2-0 to the Gauchos before freshman Gracie Binder would feed sophomore Lucy Kelly for the first of her three goals in the game and the Broncos first goal of the contest. The two teams traded goals over the coming minutes before the Broncos would tie the game at 3-3 with 14:34 remaining in the first half. Santa Clara would eventually give up the next four goals to UCSB to go down 7-3 and force Santa Clara to call its first timeout of the game. After a few minutes to gather their composure, the Broncos were led by sophomore Krista Shaw who found the net with 6:08 remaining in the half off of a quick feed from sophomore Jenna Choquette. Shaw would close out the half by scoring three of the final four goals and send her on her way to an impressive six goal performance.

After trailing 8-6 at half, the Broncos again gave up the first goal of the half, after just 26 seconds. Down 9-6 and frustrated, the Broncos would rally behind three consecutive goals put in by Kelly, Shaw and Binder over a span of just 1:48. With the game now tied at 9-9, the Broncos were once again back on their feet.

The two teams would trade goals down the stretch but the Broncos could never squeak out a lead from Santa Barbara. With 8:28 remaining the Broncos tied the game for the final time off of a hard right-handed shot to the top left corner by Choquette. The game would remain tied as both goalies and defenses settled down for an exciting finish. In the closing minutes both goalies made clutch saves but with 1:17 remaining, UCSB would score off of a free position shot that gave them the eventual 12-11 lead and victory.

Santa Clara (8-2) moves on to play rival Chico State (4-4) this weekend in their first regional game of the season. UC Santa Barbara (9-0) moves on to play San Diego State (4-4). UC Santa Barbara continues to hold the #1 ranking in the USL WDIA poll which is released on a weekly basis.

 

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