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Second Half Defense Effort Propels UCSB to Win Over Aztecs

Box Score

Bookmark and Share Printer Friendly Jan. 24, 2009

Sam LutzSan Diego, CA - UCSB held San Diego State to one goal in the second half enroute to a season opening win on the road in the Surfside Cup at Rancho Bernardo High School. The Aztecs started off the scoring with an unassisted goal by sophomore Dana Harvey (San Diego, CA) just 43 seconds into the contest. Less than a minute later UCSB sophomore  Alyssa Nelsen (Denver, CO) fed a nice pass to junior  Samantha Lutz (San Diego, CA) and the Gauchos evened it up. Lutz, playing in her former high school stadium, led all scorers in goals with 5 goals and 1 assist. Nelsen followed with 4 goals and 2 assists. The output from the two of them would have been enough to best San Diego State but it was a total team effort for UCSB as a total of 9 players scored a goal or had an assist.

Senior  Katie Moran (San Rafael, CA) anchored UCSB on defense at first, staying close to the UCSB goal in the first half while nursing a strained hamstring, but eventually moved up into the offensive end at times in the second half as she became more sure her leg would hold up. Moran finished with 1 goal and 1 assist on 2 shots on goal while also causing 3 turnovers, collecting 4 ground balls and snaring 3 draw controls. Nelsen was the story of the day, though, in the plus columns.  Not only did she tally 6 points but she also had 5 caused turnovers, 6 ground balls and 3 draw controls offsetby zero turnovers and 1 foul. In all the Gauchos caused 25 turnovers and scooped up 23 ground balls.

"We are pleased with our hustle today and our overall performance," said second year head coach  Paul Ramsey after the game. "We have a young team so there were some mistakes but the upside with this group is ridiculously high right now."

UCSB pulled ahead 2-1 with an unassisted goal by Nelsen and then Nelsen fed Lutz to make it 3-1. San Diego State mounted a comeback and eventually pulled to within 1 at 4-3 with an unassisted goal by junior Rachel McQuade (San Diego, CA), who is also a Rancho Bernardo alum and playing at her former high school stadium. From there, though, the Gauchos outscored the Aztecs 14-2 over the rest of the game, including holding them to one goal in the second half, with it coming on an 8 meter shot by junior Laura Macias. UCSB freshman goal keeper  Jeni Centner (Tustin, CA) had 4 saves in 9 shots against her and the defense forced the remaining 6 San Diego State shots wide. UCSB outshot San Diego state 38-15.

"That was a nice defensive effort in the second half," said Ramsey.  "We started sliding and rotating over and covering everything."

UCSB returns five starters and three reserves from the 2008 season but has added 12 new faces to their 'A' Team. Five 'B' Team players were moved up this year and 7 freshmen are all contributing. It's a total of 20 players, 3 more than the 'A' Team carried last year. Freshman midfielder  Sierra Centkowski (Pacific Palisades, CA) was the only Gaucho not suited up for the game with San Diego State, sitting out with a viral infection. Centowski may play Sunday against Arizona State.

"Everyone dressed played tonight...and that's a big thing for me," commented Ramsey.  "I want everyone to get in every game and they're all working hard enough in practice to show they deserve it."

"I trust them enough to put them all in and the more playing time they get the more I trust them. It's a great circle."

UCSB starts the season 1-0 while San Diego State drops to 0-1. Sunday action continues in the Surfside Cup as University of Denver takes on the Canadian National Team. So far it's been the Northwestern University show at this Cup. The four-time NCAA defending champion Wildcats have a 24-6 win over Denver and a 21-5 win over Canada to their credit. Denver plays Canada at 11am and UCSB plays Arizona State at 1pm in the stadium at Rancho Bernardo High School.

Other UCSB action at the Surfside Cup included three short period scrimmages for the UCSB 'B' Team. In the opener the Gauchos dropped a 9-5 decision to UCLA 'B' but rebounded with a 5-4 win over Nevada-Reno and an 11-2 win over UC San Diego 'B' to wrap up the day. The UCSB 'B' Team opens their season at home on Saturday, January 31st, when they host Occidental College in a 2pm match on the Rob Field Turf at UCSB.


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