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Gauchos Withstand Three Rallies by Santa Clara and Win 12-11

Box Score

Bookmark and Share Printer Friendly Mar. 9, 2008

Emily Ruby Scored 3 Goals and Had 1 Assist vs. Santa ClaraSanta Barbara, CA - UCSB was never far ahead but seemed in control of the game for most of it until 5th ranked Santa Clara surged to tie it 11-11 with just under 9 minutes remaining in the game. After some cat and mouse back & forth with clutch saves coming from both goalies UCSB freshman Alyssa Nelsen (Denver, CO) converted a free position with 1:17 remaining to put the Gauchos up for good. The Broncos tied the game on three separate occasions but never led. The Gauchos went up 3-1 on a pass from freshman Ashley Antoon-Algieri (San Ramon, CA) to senior Emily Ruby (Davis, CA) 8 minutes and 20 seconds into the game. It was Ruby's third goal. Santa Clara responded with unassisted goals by sophomores Lucy Kelly (Denver, CO) and Krista Shaw (Denver, CO) to tie the score at 3-3 15:26 into the game. It was the first of Shaw's game high 6 goals.

UCSB looked about to run away with it when they went on a four goal run over the next six minutes. Senior Kristen Dickey (Davis, CA) started the run with a free position shot, Ruby assisted sophomore Maggie Aker (Oakland, CA), Aker scored unassisted and then Antoon-Algieri buried her free position chance and UCSB was leading 7-4 with just under 9 minutes remaining in the first half. Both teams traded goals over the next three minutes. The UCSB goal came off a feed from junior Kelsey Seitz (San Diego, CA) to a leaping Antoon-Algieri and UCSB had an 8-4 lead with two minutes left until half-time.

Shaw, who came into the game with 36 goals & 7 assists, scored on a solo effort and then again on a free position shot during a 51 second burst to pull the Broncos to within two goals at 8-6.

"We were not sliding early enough on Shaw in the first half," said head coach Paul Ramsey after the game. "She's dangerous and she's their leading scorer and we knew that yet we were slow to adjust and react to her."

"Their adjacent attackers were doing a nice job cutting through and taking our slide away and Shaw is the best I've seen so far this year at taking advantage of that, continued Ramsey. "Whenever an adjacent defender took her eye off the ball going through the middle with her player Shaw would time it perfectly and go to goal."

The Gauchos didn't start the second half sliding early even though it was discussed at half-time. The half started with a solo effort off the draw by junior Katie Moran (San Rafael, CA) to put UCSB up 9-6 just 26 seconds after the draw. But then Santa Clara scored 3 unanswered unassisted goals while beating the late slide all three times to tie it for the second time in the game at 9-9 only 2:49 into the second half.

"I almost called a time out at that point," said Ramsey "but I could only have said the same thing we had all already said at half-time about seeing the ball and sliding early.

"I stopped myself because at that point the entire defense pulled it in for an on the field huddle and someone must have said the right thing because after that we started sliding early."

In this case early became on time for UCSB. With the better team defense by the Gauchos now in place Santa Clara only managed 2 more goals over the final 27 minutes of the game. Similarly, though, the Santa Clara defense was doing some clamping down of it's own. Goals became hard to get for both teams. UCSB scored only 3 more goals during that 27 minute span. After combining for 18 goals in the first 33 minutes of the game both teams tallied only 5 goals in the final 27 minutes. Two of the three UCSB goals in that 3-2 margin came from reserve midfielder Nelsen who stepped up to spark her team for the second game in a row. Nelsen stepped in to breathe life into the Gauchos against UCLA last week when she scored 2 goals and 2 assists coming off the bench to help UCSB distance themselves from the Bruins in a 17-12 win.

"We're deep," said Ramsey. "It's nice to be able to go to reserves who can play like that."

UCSB is not only deep, they also maintained a balanced attack in the face of a close game. Two players (Shaw and Kelly) scored 9 of Santa Clara's 11 goals but seven Gauchos contributed goals and assists. This helped UCSB improve their record to 11-0 overall and 9-0 in the WDIA. The Gauchos are next in action on Saturday when they host 16th ranked San Diego State. It will be the 10th ranked opponent UCSB has faced this season. The Broncos fall to 8-2 with their only losses coming at the hands of #1 ranked UCSB and #2 ranked Colorado State.


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