November 2, 2007

Hard-Luck Gauchos Eliminated From Big West Tournament Chase With 1-0 Loss at Cal State Northridge

Nov. 2, 2007

Box Score

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - In a match that was a microcosm of its hard-luck season, the visiting UC Santa Barbara women's soccer team outplayed Cal State Northridge on Friday afternoon, but lost a 1-0 decision. The defeat eliminates the Gauchos from Big West Tournament contention.

UCSB (6-9-4 overall and 3-3-1 in the Big West) recorded 20 shots, including eight on-goal, as compared to CSUN's (5-10-2 overall, 2-4-1 in the Big West) eight overall and five on-goal. Matador goalkeeper Ivette Esqueda, however, was up to the task, blocking all eight shots on goal. UCSB's Katie Wright had four saves, but the one she didn't stop decided thematch.

Early in the first half, at the 14:13 mark, CSUN forward Kristy Krohn stole the ball in front of the Gaucho goal. She took a shot that was blocked by Wright, but she collected her own rebound and put it past UCSB's senior goalkeeper to give her team the only goal it would need.

Santa Barbara had 10 shots in each half and Esqueda had five of her eight saves in the second 45-minute period. In addition to dominating the shots, the Gauchos had seven corner kicks while Northridge had none. Freshmen Kailyn Kugler and Jacqui Simon led UCSB with four and three shots respectively.

The defeat, paired with third-place Long Beach State's 3-1 win second-place Cal Poly, eliminates UCSB from the Big West Tournament hunt. The fifth-place Gauchos trail fourth-place UC Irvine by three points. The teams could conceivably finish with 13 points apiece, but the Anteaters would get the nod because they won the head-to-head match-up between the teams, 2-1 on Oct. 14.

The one-goal loss was the seventh of the season for a Gaucho team devastated by injuries. Santa Barbara, in fact, started four freshmen on Friday and eight of the 15 players who saw action in the match were first-year players.

UCSB will complete the season on Sunday, Nov. 4, when it travels to Long Beach State for a noon match against the 49ers.