April 23, 2010
LONG BEACH, Calif. - After four closely fought quarters, two overtime periods and 2:12 of sudden victory play, third-seeded UC Santa Barbara (18-10, 3-2) pulled out the 15-14 victory over sixth seed Long Beach State (18-20, 0-5). Katie Kepner scored three goals, including the game winner, in the opening round of the Big West Tournament on Friday afternoon. Freshman Shelby Haroldson also posted a hat trick in the Gaucho victory.
UCSB jumped out to an early lead, going up 3-0 in the first quarter. Long Beach responded with a power play goal, but were answered by the Gauchos who took advantage of their own power play with 1:28 left in the period. In the final minute, LBSU squeezed in another goal to end the first quarter in a 4-2 Gaucho lead.
The action continued in the second as the 49ers posted three goals in the first three minutes of the quarter, evening the game at 4-4. Lizzie Rouleau awakened the Gaucho offense, attacking the goal and regaining the UCSB lead. Long Beach kept on the throttle, posting two more goals for a 6-5 lead at half.
After the break, the Gauchos came out with force, tying the game just thirty seconds into the quarter on Katie Kepner goal, then retaking the lead on an inside shot by Kathryn Nelson. The 49ers scored a goal of their own before being bombarded by three straight UCSB goals and going down 11-7 to the Gauchos. Long Beach netted the final goal of the quarter, leaving the score at 11-8 going into the fourth.
Much like the Gauchos had in the third, the 49ers came out hot in the fourth quarter, scoring three straight goals to tie the match at 11-11 with 4:12 left in regulation. With the end in sight both teams continued to pour it on, resulting in another goal apiece in the next 1:42 of play. Then with 1:40 left in the fourth, Claire Buchanan found the back of the net, putting the Gauchos ahead 13-12. Unfortunately for UCSB, Long Beach's Krizia Cerda broke away from the defense and scored the tying goal just 54 seconds before the end of regulation, forcing the game into two overtime periods.
After a momentous four quarters, the game stagnated in overtime. In the first overtime, UCSB netted a single goal and held the 49ers scoreless. In the second overtime, roles reversed and Long Beach scored the only goal, leaving the score at 14-14 and forcing the match into sudden victory.
2:12 into sudden victory, Katie Kepner charged the 49ers goal and floated a shot toward the upper left corner of the cage. The ball sailed past the outstretched arms of Long Beach goalie Kristen Stragier, winning the epic battle for UCSB, 15-14.
The Gauchos will be back in action in Long Beach tomorrow, when they take on second-seeded Cal State Northridge at 5:45 pm for the opportunity to play in the Big West Championship game on Sunday.
UCSB 15, Long Beach State 14
Long Beach Goals:Krizia Cerda 4, Lauren Sieprath 3, Melissa Martin 2, Chelsea Grabowski, Katie Rogers, Meaghan Leonard, Courtney Elward, Melissa Matheson
Long Beach Saves: Kristen Stragier 10