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UCSB Drops 18-16 Heartbreaker to Colorado in National Semifinal

Box Score

Bookmark and Share Printer Friendly May. 8, 2009

Maggie AkerScottsdale, AZ - UCSB's comeback bid fell short in a fast-paced game with University of Colorado, Boulder. The Gauchos lost 18-16 in an evening semifinal at the WDIA National Championship Tournament after climbing back from being down 4-0 six minutes into the game, 6-1 eleven minutes into it and 8-2 sixteen minutes into it. Four different players scored for Colorado during their initial 4-0 outburst. Eventually UCSB tied it at 8-8 with 3:37 remaining in the first half and took the lead 9-8 with 2:38 remaining. During that span of 19 minutes the Gauchos outscored Colorado 8-2. The Buffaloes won the draw and then tied it up again at 9-9 on a goal with 21 seconds left in the half.

Junior Maggie Aker (Oakland, CA) started the UCSB comeback in the first half on a coast to coast solo effort following a save and clear by freshman goalie Jeni Centner (Tustin, CA). Aker was fouled while taking it in to score and then converted her free position shot to get the first Gaucho goal 5:35 into the game. That made it 4-1 but the Buffaloes responded with consecutive goals off draw controls. Juniors Allison Scholbe (Greenwood Village, CO) and Jody Weisenhorn (Aurora, CO) each netted unassisted goals to make it 6-1 in favor of Colorado in 4 minutes of play. Then UCSB started winning the draw and used it to outscore Colorado 7-2 over a 12 minute period to get themselves back into the game at 8-8. During that comeback Aker scored 3 times and sophomore Ashley Antoon-Algieri (San Ramon, CA) scored 4 times while senior Katie Moran (San Rafael, CA) and freshman Meg Cruse (San Diego, CA) scored one apiece.

"We responded to getting down by 4, 5 and 6 goals early by playing harder all over the field," said head coach Paul Ramsey. "The effort by everyone to get themselves back into the game was tremendous." 

UCSB took a 10-9 lead 8 minutes into the second half after Centner turned away a Colorado attempt and Cruse assisted Moran at the other end of the field. The teams traded goals over the next 6 minutes and UCSB was up 12-11 with 18:43 left in the game. Weisenhorn struck again with another unassisted goal at 17:03 to tie it 12-12. Colorado then started winning the draws and they surged ahead with 5 more goals to make it a string of 6 unanswered scores and take a 17-12 lead. Antoon-Algieri scored to make it 17-13 but junior Amber Lister (Aurora, CO) netted her 6th goal of the game to make it 18-13 in favor of the Buffaloes with 6:23 left to play.

Colorado again won the draw and the Gauchos were facing a 5 goal loss but started a rally with a defensive stop and a fastbreak in the process before Colorado fouled Antoon-Algieri hard in the midfield. After the re-start the sophomore attacker sprinted ahead and weaved her way through the Buffaloes' defense for her 7th goal of the game and with 4:39 to go it was 18-14. Moran won the draw for UCSB and pushed the pace upfield before finding freshman Megan Dawe (Martinez, CA) open behind her Colorado defender. Dawe was cut off before she could get within range but looked back while running it down the alley to find Moran trailing the play and dished it over her shoulder. Moran quick-sticked it into the goal and the Gauchos were down 18-15 with 4:28 to go. Another UCSB draw control kept UCSB in comeback mode and when Alyssa Nelsen (Denver, CO) was hit hard with a cross to body check on her way in from the top she composed herself and slipped her penalty shot in to make it 18-16 and UCSB was only down by 2 with 3:26 remaining.

Colorado won the next draw and took most of the time off the clock to win the game. The UCSB pressure on defense forced two turnovers during the stall. On the first knock down the Buffaloes won it back on a ground ball high in their attacking end. On the second one a Colorado player picked it up quickly but then threw it out of bounds trying to get it to an outlet. The Gauchos had a chance for another score with the out of bounds change of possession and 26 seconds on the clock. There was no miracle for UCSB, however, as a shot caromed off the top pipe, a rebound attempt was shot wide and the feed on the resulting UCSB inbounds play was intercepted by Colorado sophomore goalie Katherine Mulligan (Denver, CO) to end it.

Colorado improved to 17-3 and advances to the national championship game for the first time where they will play Virginia Tech, 15-13 winners over Florida in the other semifinal. UCSB drops to 20-3 and faces motivating themselves for the third place game for the third year in a row. The Gauchos will play Florida at 10:30am on Saturday with the goal of matching the highest finish of program participation in the history of the WDIA National Championship Tournament when the 2005 team took third with a 7-6 win over Florida. Colorado bested UCSB 12-10 in the 2008 third place game last season.

"We have to be keenly interested in bouncing back from this in time to play well against Florida," said Ramsey, "and we have to want to go for the win."

"It's not first but it will be best to leave here with a win in our last game of the season," finished Ramsey.

WDIA Tournament Scoreboard

WDIA Tournament Blog by Claire Lochary of Lacrosse Magazine On-Line


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