Nov. 5, 2009
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - As the No. 3 seed in the Big West Tournament, the UCSB women's soccer team was forced to play on the road in the first round, but the Gauchos made themselves at home with a 2-1 win at Cal State Northridge on Thursday afternoon.
The teams played to a scoreless tie through the first half with the Matadors holding a 7-4 advantage in shots.
"I thought we came out a little flat in the first half, and that surprised me," said Santa Barbara head coach Paul Stumpf. "We just looked uncomfortable and were rushing things. We may have been a little tight."
In the second half, things turned around.
"In the second half we were much better," Stumpf said. "We had more energy and changed some things."
In the 68th-minute the energy paid off for Gauchos as they took a 1-0 lead when junior midfielder Jacqui Simon scored an unassisted goal. Simon took advantage of a ball that was misplayed by the Northridge defense. When the ball skipped away from a defender, she was there to play a front volley that bent into the far post, past goalkeeper Cynthia Jacobo. The goal was the fourth of the season for Simon.
Another aggressive play in the 84th-minute extended the Gaucho lead to 2-0. Near the top of the box, senior Genelle Ives pressured the Matador defense and took the ball. Ives popped the ball into the air, behind the defense. Sophomore Katy Roby was there and she guided the ball with her chest towards the goal line. Northridge's Sydney Vermillion tried to clear the ball, but instead she deflected it into the goal.
Officially UCSB's second score went into the books as an own-goal but it was the aggressive play of Ives and Roby that created it.
"As soon as we saw them switch to three defenders instead of four, we decided to press a little more," Stumpf said. "The second goal was a nice play by Genelle and Katy. Genelle's ball-pressure really created it."
Just over 30 seconds later, the Matadors cut the lead in half when Farryn Townley scored from about three yards out off of a cross from Brielle Slepicoff. It was Townley's ninth goal of the season.
"There was a little letdown by us," Stumpf said. "They (Northridge) threw numbers forward and we didn't respond."
UCSB in general, and goalkeeper Tammy Lenham specifically, did respond in the waning minutes as the Matadors pulled everyone into the offensive scheme. In fact, Jacobo - the goalkeeper - even got a shot off. But Lenham was up to the task, finishing with six saves.
"Tammy really came up big for us on at least three occasions," Stumpf said. "She had a huge save really late and throughout the whole match she handled all of the set pieces and relieved a lot of the pressure by using her length and punching balls out."
The win ended Northridge's five-game winning streak against Big West teams. After opening the conference schedule with a 1-2 record, including a 3-2 loss to UCSB in early October, the Matadors won five straight to secure the No. 2 seed in the league tournament. Overall, they drop to 10-10-0.
The Gauchos, who improve to 9-9-2, finished 5-2-1 in Big West games. They will play for their second straight tournament title on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. No. 1 seeded Cal Poly defeated No. 4 seeded UC Irvine 2-0 on Thursday night. The Mustangs will host the title game at Spanos Stadium.
"It would be nice to host," Stumpf laughed, "but home or away, we're glad to have the opportunity."
The Gauchos will play at Cal Poly at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday.
UCSB Athletics has a new weekly radio show called Talk'n Gauchos which airs every Tuesday from 6-7 p.m. on AM 1490 KIST. The show is broadcast live from State & A Bar and Grill, located on the corner of State Street and Anapamu Street in Santa Barbara. Fans are encouraged to attend the show for free gear and ticket giveaways or to even e-mail a question in to one of the guests and have it read live over the air. The show also airs live online via audio streaming and fans can click here to check out the entire lineup of live audio streaming online.
Men's and women's basketball season tickets are now available, giving fans an opportunity to catch the Gauchos all season long.
Season tickets are only $125 for men's basketball and $100 for women's basketball (35% lower than last year). Similar to the successful men's soccer family plan, a new Family Plan season ticket is now available for both men's and women's basketball. Family plans, which include five season tickets (two adults and three youth season tickets), are $300 for men's basketball, $225 for women's basketball or get the combo plan (both men's and women's) for just $400. That's just $2.66 per game! UCSB faculty/staff will also receive 50% off pricing on all season tickets.
And, purchase tickets before Nov. 1 to receive a complimentary Olé bobblehead doll! Click here to learn more about season ticket packages or to buy today!