Gauchos, Denver Battle to Physical 0-0 Tie
Sept. 14, 2007
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - UC Santa Barbara and the University of Denver struggled through a scoreless tie in a non-conference women's soccer match on Friday night at Harder Stadium in Santa Barbara, Calif.
The Gauchos and Pioneers each had a handful of solid chances on the night, but in the end it was stellar defense by both teams that won the day. UCSB outshot Denver by a margin of 11-4, but Pioneer goalkeeper Mackenzie Snyder had five saves for the match. The physical match also resulted in 38 combined fouls, 19 for each team.
Santa Barbara's Katie Wright recorded just one save, but it was a big one, coming in the 82nd minute as Pioneer midfielder Lizzy Carlson drove down the left side of the box and tried to line a shot into the lower right side of the goal. Wright dove to her left to block and collect the shot, preserving the tie.
Each team had just one legitimate scoring opportunity in the first half. For UCSB, midfielder Sami Svrcek took a cross from Jacqui Simon and hit a shot from about 10 yards out. The ball was deflected to midfielder Romy Barber who lined a shot of her own in traffic, but her shot was blocked by a Denver defender.
The Pioneers had their best first half opportunity in the 38th minute when Katie Oates took a free kick from about 10 yards above the penalty box and the ball skimmed off the top of the goal.
Three minutes into the second half, the Gauchos had another opportunity when freshman midfielder Kate Mogannam drove a corner kick into the box, about eight yards in front of the goal. Defender Kandice Mclaughlin got her head on the ball and lined it towards the upper middle part of the goal, but Snyder was there for the two-handed catch.
Perhaps the most frightening moment of the match for UCSB came seven minutes into the first half of the overtime when a defender played the ball back to Katie Wright. Wright moved right and struck the ball, attempting to boot it down the field, but it deflected off of Oates who had hustled into the box and spun towards the goal mouth. The spin, however, was too severe and the ball seemed spun to about a foot in front of the goal line before it sliced past the right goal post where it was cleared by defender Rachael Ritchey.
There were few other opportunities for either team. The Gauchos had a couple but were whistled for off sides on both occasions.
With the tie, UCSB's record is now 1-3-1 while Denver stands at 2-1-2. The match was also Santa Barbara's fourth against 2006 NCAA Tournament teams. The run of NCAA opponents from 2006 will continue on Sunday, Sept. 16, when the Gauchos host UNLV in a 1:00 p.m. match at Harder Stadium. Denver will visit Pepperdine on Sunday afternoon.