Gauchos Battle but Drop 2-0 Decision at No. 4 Stanford

Angelisa Cortez (Photo by Tony Mastres)
Angelisa Cortez (Photo by Tony Mastres)

STANFORD, Calif. - The UC Santa Barbara women's soccer team battled through a scoreless second half, but in the end it dropped a tough 2-0 contest at No. 4 Stanford on Thursday night.

The Cardinal (4-0) scored a pair of goals in a four minute span during the first half and then the Gauchos (2-2-1) tightened things up defensively and that was it as the teams went scoreless for the final 71:24 of the match.

Santa Barbara played without its top two offensive players. Leading scorer Amanda Ball had a sore quad and senior captain Indiana Mead missed her second straight game with a sprained ankle.

Stanford scored its first goal when Ryan Walker-Hartshorn rebounded a blocked shot by Chioma Ubogagu and rifled it home past goalkeeper Beth Ritter. It was Walker-Hartshorn's first goal of the 2014 season.

Just over three minutes later, at 18:36, Ubogagu claimed a through-ball by Andi Sullivan and scored on a blast with her left foot into the right corner of the goal. It was Ubogagu's third goal of the season.

Over the final 70-plus minutes the teams battled to a scoreless tie. Stanford had a 19-5 edge in shots and a 4-0 advantage in corner kicks.

"Obviously this was not the result we wanted," said Gauchos head coach Paul Stumpf. "But the focus, effort and quality of play were things that we can build on. We're coming home very proud of our team."

UCSB goalkeeper Beth Ritter, a native of Northern California, was once more stellar between the posts as she had four saves. The Gauchos forced a pair of Cardinal 'keepers to make a pair of saves. Senior midfielder Kelly McGrath was also outstandng as she directed things on the center of the pitch and was instrumental in keeping the Cardinal at bay.

"Kelly (McGrath), Sydney Fuertes, Chace (Schornstein) and Savannah Francis were all really good tonight," Stumpf said. "If they can continue to play at the same level the rest of the season, that would be a very good turn of events."

The Gauchos return home on Sunday, Sept. 7 to host Loyola Marymount in a 6:00 p.m. match at Harder Stadium. Tickets can be purchased at the Ticket Office in the Intercollegiate Athletics Building on campus, by calling 805-893-8272, online by clicking here, or at the Harder Stadium Ticket Booth one our before kickoff.