Santa Barbara, Calif. – In their first game of Big West Conference play, the UC Santa Barbara women's soccer team lost a tough match to Cal State Northridge Friday night at Harder Stadium as they fell 1-0, snapping their four game winning streak.
The first half of the match was unusually quiet as both teams only took one shot apiece. The Gauchos (6-4-2, 0-1-0), who had been on an impressive offensive run, struggled to make any serious threats, as they fought for possession over the ball against the Matadors (4-7-1, 1-0-0).
Senior forward Madison Beckley, coming into the half as a substitute, was the owner of the only Gaucho shot. In the 42nd minute, Dakota Griggs made an excellent cross from the right field to Beckley, who was waiting for the pass. After going through a Northridge defender, Beckley poised herself for the shot, but unfortunately it went over the crossbar.
Immediately into the second half, both offensive sides came alive with a total of six shots coming within the first ten minutes. Cal State Northridge would seize the opportunity and take the lead in the 61st minute, when Brittanie Sakajian made her first goal of the season. Matador defender Leandra Walker battled through Gaucho defenders and made a cross from the left side of the field to Sakajian, who dribbled the ball for a bit and then made a left-footed shot past the diving Beth Ritter.
UCSB continued taking shots thereafter in hopes of tying the game, but time dwindled down and nothing came about. It was only the fourth time this season the Gauchos had been shut out by an opponent.
Both teams had six shots overall, but UCSB had the 4-2 shots on goal advantage. Angelisa Cortez and Dakota Griggs took two shots. Indiana Mead and Madison Beckley had one shot each. The Gauchos also had a 7-2 edge in corner kicks but were not able to make anything of it.
"I'm disappointed with the result but please with the way the team play," said head coach Paul Stumpf. "They competed hard and created a handful of chances to score. Maybe a bit unfortunate to get at least one goal. There are no easy games going forward in the conference."
The Gauchos head on the road to face Long Beach State on Sunday, Oct. 5 in a 6:00 p.m. match at George Allen Field. They return home on Friday, Oct. 10 to play Hawai'i at Harder Stadium at 7:00 p.m.