Hromatko's Goal Leads UCSB to Sixth Straight Win

Mallory Hromatko (photo by Tony Mastres)
Mallory Hromatko (photo by Tony Mastres)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Sophomore midfielder Mallory Hromatko scored 26 seconds into the second half to deliver UC Santa Barbara a 1-0 victory over St. Francis and extend the team's season-opening winning streak to six games.

The third goal of the season for Hromatko helped the Gauchos (6-0-0) extend their best start to a season since 1990. The struggling Red Flash, who were outshot 20-2 by UCSB, dropped to 1-6-0 on the year.

The winner was started by freshman winger Shaelan Murison, who sent in the ball from the left side that Hromatko was able to pounce on, poking it past St. Francis keeper Julia Hernan.

After putting no shots in frame in the first half, UCSB kept up the offensive pressure after Hromatko's tally, sending in a flurry of shots early in the frame.

Sophomore midfielder Sydney Magnin was unlucky not to find herself on the scoresheet, hitting the crossbar with a header in the 52nd minute before having a shot clang off the post less than a minute later.

Just moments later, reigning Big West Offensive Player of the Week Amanda Ball had a goal-bound shot pushed just wide of the post by Hernan. 

On the defensive side, UCSB's back line, keeper duo, and strong possession stats limited St. Francis to just two shots on the night, giving the Gauchos their fifth consecutive shutout. UCSB has now gone 471 consecutive minutes without allowing a goal, dating back to Aug. 19 against Fresno State.   

"The most important piece of tonight's game was that it was our fifth straight shutout," said UCSB head coach Paul Stumpf. "We're playing very well defensively, both as a group and individually. Philosophically, if you don't give up a goal then you can't lose." 

Senior keeper Jacq Caginia, making her season debut after going 5-2 as the team's starter in 2015, earned the win and shutout after entering the game at halftime. Sophomore Brittney Rogers, who went 5-0 to start the season, played the entirety of the first half without facing a shot on goal.

UCSB will conclude a six-game homestand on Sunday afternoon with a 1:00 p.m. PDT contest against UNLV. That match will have a live video broadcast available through UCSBGauchos.com, directly accessible here