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Top Ranked Colorado State Stop Gauchos In National Championship Game

Box Score

Bookmark and Share Printer Friendly May. 12, 2013

UCSB vs Colorado StateColorado Springs, CO - UCSB advanced to the national championship game for the first time but couldn't pull off a fourth consecutive post-season upset and Colorado State won their fourth title in six years. To get to the title game the 11th seeded Gauchos upset the 6th seeded club from University of Virginia, 3rd seeded University of Georgia and 2nd seeded Brigham Young University. The run became the story of the tournament and other teams started turning up to watch UCSB to see what would happen in their next game. The Cinderella run ended in the final, though, as Colorado State made it happen for themselves. The Rams, with seven senior starters leading the way, were the top ranked team in the country from start to finish this season. They finished 22-0 overall and they are the national champions.

The young UCSB team of 9 freshmen, 3 sophomores, 3 juniors and 4 seniors finished the season with a 16-8 overall record and a Top Ten national ranking in a rebuilding year. The Gauchos had graduated seven senior starters from the 2012 season. After being eliminated in the semifinals of conference play in the Western Women's Lacrosse League (WWLL) championship tournament the Gauchos received the last at-large spot in the WCLA National Championship Tournament. UCSB then pulled it together for their extended post-season with a stretch of ten tough practices and stormed into the national championship tournament in a big way.  They upset Virginia 13-7 and toppled Georgia 11-6 in two decisive games. In the national semifinals the Gauchos faced a 5 goal deficit at halftime but scored two quick ones to open the second half, gave themselves life, and then stole the game from BYU, climbing out of a big hole to win 12-11.

In the national championship game it was close for the first 12 minutes with Colorado State up 3-2. After the Rams scored three straight to go up 6-2 UCSB senior Katie Mitchell (Lafayette, CA) scored unassisted to get the Gauchos to within three goals. Based on their ability to go on runs a 3-6 score seemed to be within striking distance for upstart UCSB. Keep it close until halftime and regroup for the second half and the Gauchos would have a chance. However, to help themselves avoid dealing with any such UCSB heroics the experienced Colorado State team increased their intensity, owned the final ten minutes of the half, scored four unanswered goals and led 10-3 at half-time.

In the first minute of the second half Katie Hubbert (San Jose, CA) scored unassisted for UCSB to get them within 6 goals with more than 28 minutes left to play. It looked for a few moments that the Gauchos might make a run at it just like the day before against BYU. The Rams, however, had the benefit of watching the entire UCSB upset of the Cougars, knew what the Gauchos were capable of doing and didn't let it happen. Four minutes later CSU senior midfielder Hayley Bernstein (Colorado Springs, CO) scored the third of her five goals on a free position shot. Bernstein, the WCLA National Player Of The Year, then scored two of the next three goals of the game as the Rams controlled the play well enough to limit UCSB to that one goal by Hubbert in the second half.

UCSB senior goalie Megan Hughes (Santa Ana, CA) finished with 8 saves in the national championship game and 34 saves across all four games played in the tournament. Hughes was named Most Outstanding Goalie of the tournament by a panel of U.S. Lacrosse media staff. Teammate Cailan Howey (Charlotte, NC) was named Most Outstanding Defender. Both were also selected for the All-Tournament Team as was teammate Lindsay Alex (Santa Ana, CA).

All-Tournament Team
Lindsay Alex, UCSB
Briana Arnold, Brigham Young
Hayley Bernstein, Colorado State
Maggie Burke, Santa Clara
Maddie Garcia, Colorado State
Bridget Haby, Texas
Jordan Haws, Brigham Young
Cailan Howey, UCSB
Megan Hughes, UCSB
Grace Jackson, Virginia
Jamee Jacobson, Michigan
Sarah Langlie, Colorado State
Christa Laustsen, Pittsburgh
Brooks Leavell, Georgia
Erin Liebe, Oregon
Megan Lusby, Maryland
Erin McGillivray, USC
Brittany O’Rourke, Northeastern
Randi Pool, Minnesota
Nikki Searle, Brigham Young
Christine Waterhouse, Florida
Megan Weinell, Cal Poly SLO

Most Outstanding Players
Attack: Maddie Garcia, Colorado State
Midfield: Hayley Bernstein, Colorado State
Defense: Cailan Howey, UCSB
Goalie: Megan Hughes, UCSB


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