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UCSB Upsets 3rd Ranked Santa Clara 10-7

Box Score

Bookmark and Share Printer Friendly Apr. 12, 2014

UCSB WLAX File PhotoSanta Barbara, CA - The Gauchos hosted Santa Clara at the UCSB Recreation Center sports complex turf and won 10-7 against the third ranked Broncos. Seventeenth ranked UCSB was leading 6-2 at halftime and held off a rallying Santa Clara team to win a crucial Western Women's Lacrosse League match-up. The result will monkey wrench the seeding process for the WWLL Championship Tournament next weekend and perhaps raise UCSB stock on the national scene as well.

The Broncos struck first on an unassisted goal by Saralena Barry (Granger, IN) a little over two minutes into the game. UCSB scored four straight over the next 8 minutes to go up 4-1. Senior Blair Evans (Salinas, CA) scored two of her game leading four goals in that run and sophomore Amanda Shoemaker (Poway, CA) scored once. Bronco Claire Smoker (Santa Clara, CA) notched an unassisted goal at 11:20 but the Gauchos answered with two goals and that all added up to them outscoring Santa Clara 5-1 over a 25 minute span. UCSB held the Broncos to two first half goals and went into halftime leading 6-2. Samm Wilson (San Jose, CA), Claire Wilson (Healdsburg, CA) and Evans got in on the scoring. Six of the UCSB first half goals were scored by 4 different Gauchos.  By the end of the game ten UCSB goals were scored by six different players.

During their strong first half the Gauchos defense played so clean they did not foul, even once. The UCSB defense were always marking inside the 8 meter, were never in 3 seconds or shooting space and held their checks. As a result Santa Clara did not get one free position shot the entire first half. Four fouls by UCSB in the second half led to shot opportunities for the Broncos and Santa Clara scored three goals that way.

Third ranked teams don't give up, of course, and the Broncos scored twice to start the second half and pulled to within two goals at 6-4 with 20 minutes remaining. Junior Lori Marchildon (Haddonfield, NJ) returned UCSB to a 3 goal cushion with an unassisted goal 5 minutes later. Santa Clara got one from senior Tori Rutherford (Dallas, TX) and it was back to two goals at 7-5 in favor of UCSB with just under ten minutes to go in the game. Then on the next two UCSB possessions Evans ran the show. The midfielder found a teammate open on the back side after dodging and drawing some attention. Evans passed it to a cutting Wilson who scored. Then on the next UCSB possession Evans dodged all the way and scored herself to put the Gauchos up 9-5 with 2:20 in the game. 

"We were playing quite well but then in the last two minutes we learned a lesson about raising our intensity to finish a game against a good team," said UCSB head coach Paul Ramsey after the contest.

Santa Clara won the draw and down by four goals with only two minutes remaining Sofia Robinson (Tiburon, CA) drove in and shot through two UCSB defenders to score. The Broncos won the next draw and junior Dana Kilsby (Lake Oswego, OR) got it up top before going to goal. Despite being forced wide Kilsby took the kind of wide angle shot nobody coaches. Somehow she snuck it by UCSB goalie Megan Hughes (Santa Ana, CA). Hughes played a fine game, making saves and clearing well.  The senior finished with 7 saves on 14 shots for 50%. The Broncos won their third straight draw control but turned the ball over on this possession and UCSB cleared it successfully to have the ball leading 9-7 with less than a minute. Sophomore Kelsey Trepa (San Marcos, CA) scored an open net goal for the final 10-7 margin in response to Santa Clara goalie Maggie Von Massenhausen (San Jose, CA) out double teaming as the Broncos tried to break the UCSB stall.

"The lesson here is that is the time to turn up our intensity with two minutes remaining," commented Ramsey.  "It's not even enough to maintain intensity, we have to dial it up in those situations."

Still, until the final two minutes the Gauchos had outplayed the third ranked team in the country 9-5 and that was even with a short stretch of nine minutes to start the second half that was all Broncos. UCSB responded to that push by Santa Clara and responded again at the end of the game to close it out and get the win.

UCSB improved to 8-5 overall and 7-2 in WWLL games with one game remaining. The Gauchos host 21st ranked University of San Diego (8-4, 5-3) on Sunday at 1:00pm to close the regular season. Santa Clara dropped to 8-2, 6-1 with the loss in their final regular season game. The Broncos might still get the #1 seed in the WWLL Championships April 19th - 20th as they are one of two WWLL teams with only one league loss. Nobody is undefeated in league play. UCLA and Santa Clara did not meet this season and the Bruins are 12-2, 8-1 but lost to Cal Poly SLO who both Santa Clara and UCSB beat. Sooner than the championship weekend, though, is the Sunday game with San Diego and UCSB must take care of business in that game before focusing on next weekend.


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