Gauchos Have Stellar Day in SoCal Tournament, Advance to Semifinals

Teddy Zhang

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -- In Saturday's night cap of the SoCal Tournament played at UCSB Campus Pool, No. 6 UC Santa Barbara (11-2) delivered undoubtedly the most thrilling action of day one of tournament play.  Facing No. 3 Stanford (4-2), which previously beat UCSB in the NorCal Invitational via a narrow 8-7 defeat, the Gauchos downed the Cardinal, 12-9, in a ruthless battle to secure first place in Bracket C, also guaranteeing the squad a top-four finish in the tournament. 

This marked the Gauchos' biggest win of the season thus far; UCSB is the first lower-ranked team of the season to upset Stanford - whose only other loss comes from No. 1 USC in an overtime defeat at the NorCal Invite.   Additionally, tonight's win marks UCSB's first victory over the Card since Oct. 2, 2010. 

What began as a defensive gridlock eventually shifted into a back-to-back scoring fest - bringing Gaucho fans to a "tortilla throwing uproar."   UC Santa Barbara's Matt Gronow put up the first goal of the game allowing the Gauchos to jump ahead 1-0 over Stanford. Gronow scored yet another goal at 3:31 to advance their lead before the Cardinal responded with their first goal by Conner Cleary.   

With four saves by senior Myles Christian, the teams remained deadlocked at two goals each by the end of the first quarter. 

After two consecutive ejections and no additional goals, Stanford's first timeout of the game proved to be effective as the squad immediately scored 10 seconds later, to put them ahead 3-2.  Stanford's Alex Bowen scored the first of his two goals of the night to put the Cardinal ahead 4-2. With 15 seconds of the half remaining, UCSB's Nick Jordan scored his first of two goals in the game, lessening the Gaucho deficit to 4-3 at the conclusion of the second period. 

Gauchos' Teddy Zhang opened the third quarter on a high for UCSB as he scored his first of three goals at 6:53 to tie the contest, 4-4.  Nearly 20 seconds later, the Cardinal followed with another goal to edge them ahead.  After a Stanford ejection, Zhang scored again to bring forth another tie before two consecutive opponent goals advanced Stanford to a 7-5 lead.

A goal by Derek Shoemaker broke up the Stanford momentum, again leaving the score decided by one.         

Not leaving a goal unanswered, UCSB and Stanford proceeded throughout the second half with back and forth scoring action. The Cardinal took a momentary 8-6 lead, but a 4:08 goal by UCSB junior Evan Dellinger gridlocked the game at 8-8.  UCSB scored two unanswered goals, eventually outscoring the Cardinal 6-1 in the final period to conclude the game with a stellar 12-9 upset.

Zhang's hat trick led offensively for the Gauchos, while Christian tallied a season-high 15 saves.

UCSB's first game of the day came in a comfortable 15-8 win over No. 11 UC San Diego (6-4).  Trailing the Tritons 4-6 at the half, the Gauchos had an explosive 6-0 third quarter before finalizing the defeat.

Dylan Baliani, Dellinger, Brendan McElroy, and Brian Shoemaker led the Gaucho offense, scoring two goals each.  Christian lead the defense with 10 saves.

Placing first in its bracket, UCSB moves into a semifinal game against UCLA tomorrow at noon at Dos Pueblos High School.  A win over the Bruins will advance the Gauchos into the championship game, while a loss grants them either a third or fourth place finish of 16 teams.  

UCSB 15, UC San Diego 8

 

1

2

3

4

Final

UCSB

3

1

6

5

15

UC San Diego

3

3

0

2

8


UCSB Goals: Matt Johnson, Bryce Miller, Derek Shoemaker, Eric Van de Mortel, Bryan Snyder, Nick Tomasello, Teddy Zhang, Dylan Baliani (2), Evan Dellinger (2), Brendan McElroy (2), Brian Shoemaker (2)
UCSB Saves: Chris Witelegge (1), Myles Christian (10)

UC San Diego Goals: David Higginson, Tiki Toplak, Matt Michalko (2), Lukas Syka (2), Josh Stiling (2)
UC San Diego Saves: Cameron Ravanbach (10)

UCSB 12, Stanford 9

 

1

2

3

4

Final

UCSB

2

1

3

6

12

Stanford

2

2

4

1

9


UCSB Goals: Evan Dellinger, Jake Miller, Derek Shoemaker, Eric Van de Mortel, Nick Jordan (2) Matt Gronow (2), Teddy Zhang (3), Brendan McElroy
UCSB Saves: Myles Christian (15)

Stanford Goals: Conner Cleary, Ian Gamble, Nick Hoversten, Alex Avery (2), Bret Bonanni (2), Alex Bowen (2)
Stanford Saves: Scott Platshon (10)

To purchase tickets for the tournament, visit the Ticket Office in the Intercollegiate Athletics Building on campus, call (805) 893-UCSB or click here.  

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