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Strong Second Half Propels UCSB to First Round Win Over Texas

Box Score

Bookmark and Share Printer Friendly May. 4, 2011

UCSB File PhotoScottsdale, AZ - The Gauchos overcame a slow start and a four goal halftime deficit to win 16-10 over University of Texas, Austin in a first round WCLA National Championship Tournament game. The 10th seeded Longhorns came out the gate fast winning most every draw control and ground ball on their way to an 8-4 halftime score. Seventh seeded UCSB were in trouble if things stayed the way they were but that's not what happened. It took just 7 minutes and 24 seconds of furious action for UCSB to tie it at 8-8 with 22:36 remaining in the game. The Gauchos started the second half with a 4 goal run and then went on to score 5 more goals to make it a 9 goal run before Texas scored the first of their two second half goals.

UCSB outscored Texas 12-2 in the second half to put to rest any hopes the Longhorns might have had of getting back into it after losing their lead to the energetic Gauchos. Texas called a timeout after the first 3 UCSB goals following the intermission. It did not slow down the Gauchos. Texas called another timeout at the point UCSB went ahead by two goals. It did not slow down the Gauchos. About the only thing that slowed down UCSB was the Texas attempt at a slow down offense. Their game plan seemed to be playing defense with their possesion on offense and for a while it worked.

UCSB has a potent offense so the strategy could have been a good one. If the Longhorns could have kept holding onto the ball the plan might have worked but in the second half the Gauchos looked fitter and started winning loose balls. Once UCSB took the lead slowing it down wasn't an option for Texas and hurrying it up or runing an early offense wasn't their strong suit.

"Holding them to two goals was a result of us getting the ball more in the second half and some solid team defense by all of our players all over the field," said UCSB head coach Paul Ramsey after the game.

"That was a total team effort starting all the way from our attack chasing the ball down in transition through our midfield defenders marking tight to our low defenders communicating and helping to our goalie making saves."

After getting the ball numerous UCSB players found attacker Ashley Antoon-Algieri (San Ramon, CA) open somwehere. It didn't matter if they got it to her upfield, downfield or in front of the goal. The senior found net seven times on 7 for 9 shooting by dodging from the top, cutting to feeds, picking up loose balls in front of the goal to convert and even with a solo take-away on a Texas defender trying to clear the ball, scooping up the loose ball and dashing 30 yards to beat the Longhorn goalie one on one.  The three-time All-American also contributed an assist, 2 draw controls, 3 ground balls and 2 caused turnovers for good measure.

"We turned it on and Ashley was a big part of that," commented Ramsey, "but Katie Mitchell had 4 draw controls, 6 ground balls and 2 caused turnovers and those were a lot of possessions for us to use."

Mitchell (Lafayette, CA) ate up the midfield in the second half. It was a sight to see. Freshman Blair Evans (Santa Catalina, CA) was right there with her. Evans had 3 draw controls, 5 ground balls and 4 caused turnovers. Junior Jordan Venetis (Thousand Oaks, CA) won 5 ground balls and caused 3 Texas turnovers.

Junior Jeni Centner (Tustin, CA) had 8 saves and was helped tremendously by the play of her defense in the second half. Centner started off the second half with a save on her way to 4 saves on the 6 shots Texas mustered in that period.

UCSB improves to 14-7 overall and advances to play the 2nd seeded club from University of Florida at 8:00pm on Thursday in a quarterfinal. The night game is welcome by the Gauchos. The temperature had dropped to about 80 something on the grass by the start of their 5:30pm game with Texas but it felt even cooler by halftime due to the breeze blowing across the field. Humidity was a managable 8%. The later start will provide even cooler temperatures for the Gauchos and be more like the coastal weather of Santa Barbara.  It's cooling off at night here so getting onto this side of the bracket has multiple bonuses for UCSB, being in the hunt for the title being the most important one.

"We want to start well against Florida and have already talked up our game plan."

"We'll review it again tomorrow and then it's just the small matter of getting it done," concluded Ramsey.

All five WWLL teams in the national championship tournament have advanced to the quarterfinals, validating the strength of the original collegiate-club women's lacrosse league, founded in 1992. 3rd seeded UC Davis and 4th seeded Santa Clara won as expected. 9th seeded UCLA and 12th seeded Cal Poly SLO upset their first round opponents.

Other WWLL Scores at WCLA Nationals
#3 UC Davis 19, #14 University of Washington 6
#4 Santa Clara 23, #13 Boston College 12
#9 UCLA 15, #8 Michigan 11
#12 Cal Poly SLO 15, #5 Lindenwood 14 (2OT)

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