Sept. 10, 2006
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - UC Santa Barbara scored three goals in its first five matches of the 2006 season. On Sunday, the Gauchos equaled that total as they evened their record with a 3-1 win over visiting Tulsa.
UCSB got on the board first at 18:05 of the first half. Senior midfielder Darci Gwartz carried the ball up the middle of the field and flicked a pass to freshman midfielder Sarah Stoltz who was running up the left sideline. Stoltz dumped the ball towards the left corner where sophomore forward Michelle Russell picked-it up, turned toward the penalty box, drove past a defender and pounded a shot past Golden Hurricane goalkeeper Meredith Hart.
The Gauchos made it 2-0 at the 36:38 mark. Running near the right sideline, sophomore defender Katie Smith chipped a long pass over the defense to senior forward Chandi Bickford. Bickford took the ball from about 30 yards out, above the right side of the penalty box. She beat one defender and then beat goalkeeper Kendall Harclerode, who had replaced Hart about 15 minutes earlier.
The Golden Hurricane cut the UCSB lead in half at the 68:37 mark. Lauren Gilliland took a free kick and hit it to the left of the Gaucho wall to Kayla Chambers who was swinging out. Chambers beat a defender and then hit an open Megan Cash with a short through-ball. Cash beat UCSB goalkeeper Tammy Lenham to make it 2-1.
In the final minutes, Tulsa loaded up inside the Gaucho penalty box, but failed to score. With just 23 seconds remaining in the match, UCSB took advantage of the Golden Hurricane alignment, scoring on a counter. Sophomore forward Genelle Ives took the ball up the left sideline, cut in and crossed a pass to Bickford who scored at 89:37 to give the Gauchos their final margin of victory, 3-1. The goal was the second of the match for Bickford and her team-leading third of the season.
The Gaucho defense was instrumental in the win, limiting Tulsa to just eight shots, three of which were on-frame. UCSB had 11 shots, seven of which were on goal. Lenham had a pair of saves for the Gauchos, who received a strong defensive effort from Rachel Ritchey, Kandice Mclaughlin, Katrina Wright and Katie Smith.
With the win Santa Barbara improves to 2-2-2 on the season while Tulsa drops to 3-3-0. The Gauchos remain at home and will host Arizona State on Friday, Sept. 15 in a 5:00 p.m. match at Harder Stadium. The match against the Sun Devils will be the first of a doubleheader with the UCSB men hosting Loyola Marymount in the second game.