Gauchos Get Defensive in 1-0 Win at Minnesota

Maddie Julian (Photo by Eric Isaacs)
Maddie Julian (Photo by Eric Isaacs)

St. PAUL, Minn. - A successful penalty kick by Amanda Ball in the 60th minute and an outstanding defensive effort, let UC Santa Barbara to a 1-0 win over the University of Minnesota in the first game of the Minnesota Classic on Friday evening.

The Gauchos (3-1) and Golden Gophers (2-1-2) were scoreless through the first half, but a foul in the goal box gave UCSB a penalty kick at the 59:56 mark and Ball took advantage, drilling the shot past goalkeeper Maddie Nielsen.

"That was a great penalty kick by Amanda," said head coach Paul Stumpf. "She is such a talented offensive player and it is great that she was one who converted."

Offense was at a premium for the Gauchos on Friday. As a team, they collected just six shots, two of which were on goal. Minnesota had 19 shots, five on frame, but the team's defense and goalkeeping was up to the task.

"This was a really good overall performance," Stumpf said. "We had great team defending and a few individual standouts. Chace (Schornstein), Maddie (Julian), Amaya (Zabalza), Kate (Shoemaker) and Ryan (Kokoska) were fantastic. They put us in a position to win and when Amanda scored the PK, we seized the opportunity."

Julian, a graduate transfer from Cal, was making her second start in goal for UCSB. In her first start, she blanked San Jose State by a 1-0 score, but needed just a pair of saves. On Friday, she needed more than that and she came through as she saved all five of the Golden Gopher on-goal shots. 

The Gauchos were coming off of a 3-1 loss at UCLA. The win over Minnesota, which was ranked 17th nationally to open the season, was a positive sign.

"Mostly," Stumpf began, "I am proud of the effort and passion shown tonight. Tonight is what I want from this team. This is what I hope for from this team."

UCSB will remain in the Twin Cities to play another Big Ten opponent on Sunday morning. The Gauchos will grapple with the University of Iowa on Sunday morning at 10:00 a.m. (PDT). They will then return to the western United States to play at Grand Canyon University on Thursday, Sept. 7. They return home on Sunday, Sept. 10 for a 2:30 p.m. contest at Harder Stadium against Fresno State.

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