LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Seventh-ranked UC Santa Barbara cruised past La Verne and Pomona-Pitzer on Saturday at the UCLA Invitational to open the season with a 2-0 record. The Gauchos posted a 23-2 victory over La Verne before securing an equally convincing 16-4 win over Pomona-Pitzer in non-conference action at Spieker Aquactics Center.
The Gauchos began the day by outscoring the Leopards by a 7-0 margin in each of the first two quarters.
Junior goalkeeper Myles Christian and the Gaucho defense did not allow a goal through the game's first 21 minutes and 41 seconds. UCSB claimed a 16-0 lead on Eric Van de Mortel's goal at 5:22 in the third quarter before La Verne's Kyle Thorsness found the back of the cage with 2:19 left in the third frame.
UCSB outscored La Verne, 4-1, in the third quarter and by a 5-1 margin in the final period.
The Gauchos were led offensively by freshman Liam Gaughan's three goals. Six players for UCSB each scored two goals, and eight Gauchos netted one goal.
During the second game of the day, freshman Chase Racich led the Gauchos with four goals.
UCSB outscored the Sagehens in each of the game's four quarters. The Gauchos led, 3-1, after the first quarter and stretched their lead to 8-2 at halftime.
Racich opened the game's scoring with his first of four goals with 5:14 on the clock in the opening period. Freshman Gaughan helped UCSB double its margin with a goal at 4:37 in the first frame. Pomona-Pitzer got on the board with an extra-man goal from Jason Cox (4:05), who finished with a team-high three goals.
UCSB outscored Pomona-Pitzer, 4-2, in the third quarter and by a 4-0 margin in the final period.
Sophomore Jay Lovero netted 10 saves in goal for UC Santa Barbara, including three saves in each of the game's final two quarters.
UCSB will be back in action again on Saturday, Sept. 10 when they head to UC Irvine for a non-conference pairing against the Anteaters, which is scheduled for a noon start.
UCSB 23, La Verne 2
1 2 3 4 Final
La Verne 0 0 1 1 2
UC Santa Barbara 7 7 4 5 23
La Verne Goals: Kyle Thorsness, Arturo Villalpando
La Verne Saves: Dan Newell 3, Brendon Jones 1
UC Santa Barbara Goals: Liam Gaughan 3, Jesse Gillespie 2, Matt Gronow 2, Brendan McElroy 2, Bryce Miller 2, Alex Semplinski 2, Eric Van de Mortel 2, Matt Johnson, Lazar Komadinic, Chase Racich, David Schmidt, Cooper Smith, Nick Tomasello, Geng Wang, Teddy Zhang
UC Santa Barbara Saves: Myles Christian 10
UCSB 16, Pomona-Pitzer 4
1 2 3 4 Final
Pomona-Pitzer 1 1 2 0 4
UC Santa Barbara 3 5 4 4 16
Pomona-Pitzer Goals: Jason Cox 3, Ryan Higgins
Pomona-Pitzer Saves: Tyler Hill 4, Kyle Pokorny 3, Austin Strong 2