Martin's Four Goals Not Enough in 9-8 OT Thriller Versus No. 4 Cal

Lauren Martin (Photo by Tony Mastres)
Lauren Martin (Photo by Tony Mastres)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Despite Lauren Martin's four goals, No. 13 UCSB (0-1) was unable to finish off No. 4 Cal (1-1) on Friday afternoon, as the Golden Bears took the 9-8 overtime decision at Campus Pool.

Martin – who is played in her first collegiate game since 2014 – led the Gauchos, while Brenna Thomas added a pair of goals. Rounding out the rest of UCSB's scorers are Bryn Hudson and Miranda Schrader with one goal apiece, while Hudson also paced the team with three assists. 

The Gauchos' defense was steal happy against Cal, as the team combined for nine swipes in the game. Kristen Denney, Sarah Kreiser, and Samantha Murphy led in the category with two steals each.

In the cage, senior Mackenzie Brokaw finished with six saves and a steal.

Brenna Thomas opened the scoring for UCSB after registering the first goal of the game at the 4:52 mark in the first quarter. The goal was setup by Sarah Kreiser's field block, which turned into a quick counter for the Gauchos. Cal later tied the score with 27 seconds left in the period with Carla Carrega connecting on a short-range shot. 

To begin the second quarter, Cal threatened to take the lead on a power play, but came up empty handed after a Brokaw save. The Gaucho keeper wasn't content with just making the stop, as she went on to deliver a long outlet pass to Bryn Hudson who assisted Thomas on the fastbreak finish.

Facing a 2-1 UCSB lead, Cal went on a 2-0 run to take its first lead of the game with 1:49 remaining in the first half. Following the Golden Bears' second straight goal, UCSB head coach Serela Kay used her first timeout, and the Gauchos quickly responded with the game-tying goal, registered by Miranda Schrader. The scoring play started with Samantha Murphy finding Schrader in good position near the goal on the weak side. After the long pass, Schrader finished the job with a quick touch on the ball.

With 13 seconds to work with before halftime, the Bears final shot was blocked by Brokaw, preserving the 3-3 tie.

Just 2:22 into the second half, the Gauchos reclaimed the lead after the team drew a foul in transition. With most of Cal's defenders in the middle of the pool, Martin found Hudson in front of the cage for the team's fourth goal of the game.

The seesaw nature of the game continued with Cal evening the score at the 4:10 mark, while Martin came through with her first backhand scoring play of the game to put her team back up at 5-4. Martin's goal came after she lost her usual no. 4 cap in the pool and was wearing no. 16 in its place. The senior scored all four of her goals with the no. 16 cap.

The Bears, though, would have the final say in the quarter, as Stephanie Mutafyan found the back of the net on a long shot with one second left.

The Gauchos quickly took the lead back in fourth quarter thanks again to Martin. The senior first drew an exclusion foul to give UCSB a power play, which she wound up scoring on following nice entry pass from Taylor Shore.

Cal later had a power play of their own, but their shot missed off the left post. They would get the ball back with the 6-5 advantage, but the Gauchos' staunch defense held them scoreless. Once both teams were back to even strength, a Cal foul gave the ball back to the Gauchos who scored quickly in transition with Shore again connecting with Martin for a goal. 

With the scored tied at 7-7, Brokaw stopped Cal from taking a late-game lead with strong block of a swift turnaround shot from Sierra Smiley. Kay called a timeout after the clutch save, and the Gauchos again came back into play with a scoring play. This time, Murphy found Martin down low for the goal, putting UCSB ahead 8-7 with 1:58 left.

The Gauchos nearly held off Cal's offense down the stretch, but Carrega got the equalizer for the Bears with seven seconds left.

The first overtime period featured no goals, but the Bears found the game-winner at the 1:31 mark in the second extra period. On the play, Kindred Paul found Genevieive Weed on an outside shot.

UCSB will be back in action tomorrow to play Cal Baptist at 12:30 p.m. at Campus Pool and will later take on No. 2 UCLA starting at 6 p.m. at the Rec Center. For ticket information, please visit the Tournament Central Page.