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Gauchos Successful In Home Opener With 9-7 Win Over BYU

Box Score

Bookmark and Share Printer Friendly Jan. 30, 2015

UCSB WLAX File PhotoSanta Barbara, CA - UCSB won their home opener with visting BYU 9-7 in a tight game. It were two halves won by a goal each that led to the two goal win.  UCSB led 4-3 at halftime and then won the second half 5-4 for the final result. The Cougars struck first and took a 1-0 lead on an unassisted goal just under four and half minutes into the game.  The Gauchos outscored them 4-2 the rest of the half to lead by a goal at intermission.  Four UCSB players scored the four first half goals and two different Gauchos had an assist each. Freshman Kaitlyn Pike (Seaholm, MI) had five first half saves playing behind a tight Gaucho defense. UCSB allowed the Cougars 22 shots all game and forced four of those wide. Pike finished with 11 saves for 61.1%.

Following halftime BYU again scored first to tie it 4-4 three minutes into the second half. UCSB responded with a three goal run to take a 7-4 lead and effectively take control of the game. Senior Molly Meek (Los Angeles, CA) scored her second tally on her way to a game leading three goals to start the run. Junior Mari Cajandig (Davis, CA) scored her second goal too and then sophomore Melissa Hsu (Danville, CA) assisted junior Madison Sabbag (Mt. View, CA) for the third unanswered goal. BYU scored to make it 8-6 and then 3 minutes later sophomore Meghan Vijayraghavan (Pleasanton, CA) scored the game winning goal with a solo move from up top. Vijayraghavan first froze three BYU defenders on the stop still part of her move and then left them looking at open air as she burst through the middle and scored unassisted.

"Meg's stop and go move on that dodge is the best broken time effect on a lacrosse field I've seen," said UCSB head coach Paul Ramsey after the game.  "If this were an ESPN game that would make the weekend Top Ten."

The Cougars made it 8-6 four minutes later but three minutes after that Cajandig assisted Meek on an early offense look following a UCSB ride that took away a Brigham Young clearing attempt. Cajandig took the ball behind and found Meek streaking down the middle. Sophomore defender Michaela Forte (San Diego, CA) was the Gaucho who knocked down the BYU goalie's clear, scooped it up and carried it right into the UCSB offensive end to lead the early offense that resulted in the Cajandig to Meek scoring play. After that it was 9-6 for most of the last ten minutes before the Cougars scored with 86 seconds left for the final 9-7 score. UCSB finished the game with the ball and ran out the clock. The Gauchos persevered despite the early ankle injury to starting midfielder Maddy Montague (Aliso Viejo, CA). The early injury could have affected the outcome but remaining midfielders Vijayraghavan, junior Syndey Boral (Walnut Creek, CA) and freshman Alexis Cheney (Winnetka, CA) effectively teamed up with junior Nicole Rockwell (San Jose, CA) and junior Kelsey Trepa (San Marcos, CA). The Gauchos had been planning to use a six midfielder rotation but pulled off the game using five. 

The Gauchos improve to 2-0 and will enjoy a weekend off. They next face top ranked UCLA on Saturday, February 7th, at 1:00pm on the UCSB Recreation Center Sports Complex turf. BYU plays next at UCLA on Saturday, January 31st, to continue their three game road trip through Southern California.


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