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Gauchos Break Mustangs With Transition Defense

Box Score

Bookmark and Share Printer Friendly Apr. 5, 2008

Katie Moran Elevates for a Draw ControlSan Luis Obispo, CA - UCSB and Cal Poly SLO played mostly even throughout the game but the Gauchos overcame a one goal half-time deficit and pulled away in the second half to win 10-8 in a Western Women's Lacrosse League contest. Both teams scored in transtion and both teams scored on settled offense. Both teams also scored after causing turnovers during re-defending on the other team's clears, then capitalizing with quick looks and good shooting. However, it was when the Gauchos increased their defense efforts at the attacking end of the field that UCSB pulled away from the Mustangs in the second half. The effort earned UCSB a hard fought win on the road against the seven-time defending WDIA National Champions.

The defense of both teams set the tone early with tight marking and sliding defenders rotating and covering for each other during opponent moves to the goal. The Mustangs struck first with an unassisted goal by sophomore midfielder Sarina Madnick 4:47 into the game. UCSB answered back when freshman Ashley Antoon-Algieri (San Ramon, CA) worked the ball inside to senior Kristen Dickey (Davis, CA) who turned and found the net at 6:49. Cal Poly SLO then went on a 2 goal run to make it 3-1 about 15 minutes into the first half. Coming out of a timeout UCSB responded with their own two goal run. The first came from freshman midfielder Alyssa Nelsen (Denver, CO) on a solo effort. Then Nelsen found midfielder Katie Moran (San Rafael, CA) open and the junior buried it with 6:28 remaining to tie it at 3-3. Another goal by Madnick gave the Mustangs a 4-3 advantage at half-time.

Right off the first draw of the second half UCSB came out showing some conviction. A little over two minutes into the second half the Gauchos put themselves up 5-4 with two goals to take the lead for the first time. The goal that tied it was scored unassisted by sophomore Maggie Aker (Oakland, CA) when she took a feed from behind and dodged a defender for her first goal of the game. Less than two minutes later Dickey assisted senior Kristyn Gherardi (San Mateo, CA) and UCSB had taken the lead with five different players scoring a goal apiece and three of them on helpers.

"We've been focusing on working together," commented first year head coach Paul Ramsey. "I keep saying 'involve your teammates in what you're doing' and I think we're all starting to understand what that means."

UCSB's teamwork emphasis was demonstrated by Nelsen's performance. Before this game the reserve midfielder had contributed some fine offense with 18 goals and 4 assists. The freshman came off the bench and boosted her teammates with a 2 goal and 2 assist game. One of her assists came when she passed up a good angle free position shot to pass the ball to a lower positioned Algieri on a diagonal feed. Antoon-Algieri had time to move sophomore Cal Poly SLO goalie Paige Spalding and just like that Nelsen helped Antoon-Algieri get a goal.

"I can't say enough about that type of play," says Ramsey. "Being selfless and trusting our teammates to finish for us will take us far."

"Making strides towards this in a tight game against a great program makes the win even better."

The Mustangs tied the game at 5-5 but UCSB went on a three goal run over a 7 minute span to get some breathing room at 8-5. Aker, Antoon-Algieri and Nelsen scored a goal apiece during that run. The next UCSB goal came from Moran but the junior was busy all over the field doing more than scoring. Along with scoring 2 goals on 3 shots, Moran had 6 draw controls, 4 ground balls and 6 caused turnovers. Her second goal put UCSB up 9-6 and proved to be the game winner. It was sandwiched among four goals scored at the count of two per team in a flurry of scoring action over three minutes. The result was that with 10 minutes remaining UCSB held a 10-7 advantage. Both teams went without goals for the next 8 minutes until Cal Poly SLO junior midfielder Molly Sauer scored her first goal of the game to provide the final 10-8 score.

The win over Cal Poly SLO is the first by UCSB at the Mustangs home field since March 5, 2005 when UCSB won 7-5. The last time the Gauchos beat Cal Poly SLO was April 24, 2005 when UCSB won 9-6 in the WWLL Championship game. 2005 was the freshman year for all the current UCSB seniors. The win improved UCSB to 14-0 overall and 12-0 in the WDIA. Seventh ranked Cal Poly SLO drops to 7-4.


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