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Top Ranked Gauchos Hold Off 11th Ranked UCLA

Box Score

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Alyssa Nelsen Led UCSB with 4 Goals and 2 Assists Against UCLASanta Barbara, CA - UCSB used two 4 goal runs to distance themselves from the Bruins and win 17-12 in the WWLL Central Division opener for the Gauchos at the Pit. UCLA was sky high early in the contest and scored four of the first five goals to take a 4-1 lead just 6:18 into the game. Sophomore Maggie Aker (Oakland, CA) started UCSB on their comeback when she fed junior Kelsey Seitz (San Diego, CA) a pass on a fast break and Seitz finished it to get UCSB to 4-2. Less than a minute later Aker scored unassisted to make it 4-3 but the Bruins scored 3 of the next 4 goals to regain a 3 goal lead at 7-4 with 15:57 remaining in the half.

That set the stage for the first four goal UCSB run and it covered an eight minute span. Senior Kristen Dickey (Davis, CA) scored the first one on a solo effort, freshman Ashley Antoon-Algieri (San Ramon, CA) passed to Aker for the second, Dickey fed freshman Alyssa Nelsen (Denver, CO) for the next one and then Nelsen beat three UCLA defenders to score unassisted and give UCSB their first lead of the game at 8-7 with 3:43 to go until halftime. Senior Jane Jun (Lafayette, CA) of UCLA scored her second goal of the game right off the draw to tie it up at 8-8 but from that point on UCSB outscored the Bruins 9-4 the rest of the way to slowly pull away from UCLA. Two of those goals came in the last two minutes of the half and the Gauchos led 10-8 at halftime.

UCLA wasn't going away so easily and junior Sarah Strock (Encinitas, CA) fed sophomore Hayley Wheeler (Benicia, CA) just 1:10 into the second half to get the Bruins back to one at 10-9. Another four goal run by the Gauchos broke the game open and provided some separation from UCLA. The first goal of the second 4 goal run came at 8:38 into the half when Seitz assisted Antoon-Algieri. The second goal came when junior Katie Moran (San Rafael, CA) scored on a free position shot, the third when Nelsen scored on a free position and the fourth when Aker assisted Nelsen. This second run put UCSB up 14-9 with 14:07 left in the game. UCLA put in two goals in response to make it 14-11 but UCSB outscored them 3-1 over the final 8 minutes of the game for the 17-12 final score.

Senior Kristyn Gherardi (San Mateo, CA) had 6 caused turnovers, 5 ground balls, 3 draw controls and 1 goal while Moran had 5 caused turnovers, 6 ground balls, 3 draw controls and one goal. Reserve midfielder Nelsen led all scorers with 4 goals and 2 assists.

"It was a huge boost to get six points from Alyssa coming off the bench and it made the difference in the game for us," said first year coach Paul Ramsey.

"We've had a different leading scorer in almost every game this year," Ramsey added. "Our depth is really helping us and we have a lot of players we can turn to when we need a spark."

Scoring efforts for UCSB have certainly been balanced. The Gauchos have had seven different leading scorers in their ten wins so far this year. In five of those games multiple players have been tied for high goal scoring honors. Against UCLA nine different Gauchos scored at least a goal or an assist and 10 of the 13 goals scored from the field were assisted. Four goals were scored on free position shots.

The #1 ranked Gauchos improved to 10-0 overall and 8-0 WDIA while 11th ranked UCLA drops to 5-5. The Bruin host University of Arizona on Sunday and UCSB plays next on March 9th when it hosts 4th ranked Santa Clara at the Pit.


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