UCSB Scores 8 Straight For Distance Over Chapman And Wins 16-7
Apr. 7, 2012
Santa Barbara, CA - Top ranked UCSB led 8-0 at halftime against 10th ranked Chapman at UCSB Harder Stadium and then outscored them 8-7 in the second half to win 16-7. The Gauchos led by ten or more goals twice, first at 13-3 about 12 minutes into the second half. UCSB then led by eleven at 15-4 with ten minutes remaining before getting everyone into the game to close it out. The Santa Barbara defense did a nice job on Chapman leading scorer Tory Wilkinson (Atherton, CA). Prior to the game Wilkinson had been averaging more than 5 goals a game but the sophomore didn't really ever get a good look at the cage and finished with 2 goals.
UCSB strategy for the Chapman game was to go straight up player to player on defense but double team early and rotate the entire defense to clamp down on the dangerous Panthers offense. It worked often. Junior defender Emilia Norlin (Mill Valley, CA) drew first defense responsibilities on Wilkinson and seniors Megan Dawe (Martinez, CA) and Megan Fisher (Woodside, CA) drew first defense responsibility on Chapman midfielder Abby Messmer (Tustin, CA). Behind them was the rest of the UCSB defense including senior goalie Jeni Centner (Santa Ana, CA). Center saved 65% of Chapman's shots and finished with 13 saves. The smothering UCSB defense forced 4 Chapman shots wide and coaxed the Panthers into hitting 4 pipes.
"We executed the game plan about as well as any coach could hope," said UCSB head coach Paul Ramsey.
"The players bought into it and went for it on a strategy where if one defender doesn't rotate it can get messy."
No mess for the Gauchos though and at the offensive end it was business as usual for for UCSB. Nine Gauchos got involved in the scoring and UCSB got some goals on a mix of early offense, extended settled attack and assisted plays. Senior Maegan Cruse (San Diego, CA) led goal scorers with 4 goals and 1 assist for 5 points. Freshman Lindsay Alex (Santa Ana, CA) reversed her normal ratio and had 3 goals and 2 assists for 5 points.
The win clinched first place in WWLL Central and earned the Gauchos an automatic qualifier spot in the WWLL Championship Tournament April 21st - 22nd. UCSB improved to 11-1 overall with the win while Chapman dropped to 11-3. The Gauchos close out the regular season at 12th ranked Santa Clara on Saturday, April 14th. Chapman has finished the regular season but most likely will receive an at-large spot in post-season play.
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