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Eighth Ranked Cal Poly Wins 11-6 At UCSB

Box Score

Bookmark and Share Printer Friendly Feb. 28, 2015

UCSB WLAX File PhotoSanta Barbara, CA - The Gauchos hosted 8th ranked Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in a WWLL Central Region Division One game under Friday night lights at the UCSB Recreation Center turf and the Mustangs came out on top 11-6. The score was 4-3 in favor of Cal Poly at half time. Some key statistics show mostly even play with each team taking 19 shots apiece, draw controls 11 of 19 the way of UCSB and turnovers slightly in favor of the Gauchos with 17 for the Mustangs compared to 16 for UCSB. Saves proved to be a difference with Cal Poly 12 saves and UCSB 8. In the middle of all these numbers are two 4 goal runs by the Mustangs, the second one of which is what got them the big win. Without the second run it's a 1 or 2 goal game at the end.

Cal Poly scored first in the game and the Gauchos responded by scoring two straight to take a short-lived lead. Junior Madison Sabbag (Mt. View, CA) and sophomore Echo Meyers (Laguna Niguel, CA) assisted on the first two UCSB scores. Sabbag found junior Mari Cajandig (Davis, CA) as a second cutter into the Mustang zone and Cajandig scored. Then on the next possession Meyers found senior Molly Meek (Los Angeles, CA) open for an early offense slow break feed before the Cal Poly zone was set to put UCSB up 2-1 a little over 4 minutes into the game. After the Mustangs scored two goals it was similar offensive cutting strategy by UCSB that resulted in sophomore Melissa Hsu (Danville, CA) receiving an entry pass in good position to score. Cal Poly fouled immediately. Hsu netted her free position shot and it was 3-3 with 12 minutes until halftime. 

This point of the game, however, is about when the Gauchos stopped dodging with the ball and cutting in sequence off ball. Generally it became mostly standing around outside the scoring area with and without the ball, little downhill dodging and little penetration into the scoring area. The remaining UCSB goals were unassisted and mostly tremendous individual efforts but were not products of team offense.

"We executed our game plan for maybe twenty minutes," said UCSB head coach Paul Ramsey, "and this is frustrating for everyone involved." 

A bright spot was UCSB forcing the Mustangs into 15 turnovers during the game. Fifteen caused turnovers and twenty-three ground balls against the 8th ranked team in the country are a high point for defense play all over the field. UCSB attackers combined for nine of the ground balls and that's a sign they rode hard all game.

"We only award a ground ball on a change of possession so nine ground balls by our attackers means our ride is getting better," commented Ramsey.  "That's really good news."

Freshman Alexis Cheney (Winnetka, CA) picked up more minutes when starting midfielder Maddy Montague (Aliso Viejo, CA) sprained her ankle during warmups and sat out the game. Cheney responded with some big numbers. The reserve midfielder had 5 ground balls, 5 caused turnovers and 2 draw controls. Freshman goal keeper Cyrena Malkoswki had 8 saves with 7 of them coming in the first half. 

The Gauchos are thankfully through a big push of eight games in 20 days necessitated by regular season tournament play at the Santa Barbara Shootout and availability of WWLL opponents they had to schedule. Five of the eight were Top 20 opponents and 4 of 8 were Top 10. UCSB dropped to 6-4 overall and 1-2 in WWLL Central while Cal Poly improved to 7-1, 2-0.The Gauchos enjoy some recovery time with their next game eight days away on Sunday, March 8th, when they host 18th ranked University of Arizona. The Mustangs play next at top ranked Santa Clara University on March 7th.


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