SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Junior Paige Gankema (Irvine, Calif./Northwood HS) provided a game-winning goal and anchored a stout defense in helping UC Santa Barbara post a 3-0 record, earning her Big West Women's Soccer Defensive Player of the Week plaudits.
After an 0-4-1 start, the Gauchos reeled off victories against Cal State Bakersfield, San Francisco and Weber State to improve to 3-4-1 on the year. Gankema helped UCSB dent the win column for the first time in 2012 with her first career goal in a 1-0 triumph at Cal State Bakersfield Monday. It was her only shot attempt of the match.
Gankema started and played an average of 85 minutes per match as UCSB limited its three opponents to just two goals and 12 shots on goal. She was key in the Gauchos' 3-1 win against the Dons and 2-1 victory versus the Wildcats.
Gankema took four shots on the week and three of those were on frame.
Gankema is the second UCSB player to earn Defensive Player of the Week honors this year, joining goalkeeper Makenna Henry who earned the honor two weeks ago.
UCSB travels to Pepperdine on Friday, Sept. 21 to play the 5th- ranked Waves in a 3:00 p.m. match. The Gauchos return home on Sunday, Sept. 23 to host No. 17 San Diego State in a 2:00 p.m. contest. The showdown with SDSU will be part of a doubleheader. The UCSB men will host Harvard at noon same day.