Gauchos Win in Sudden Victory to Advance to Inaugural Big West Championship Game

April 25, 2009

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STOCKTON, Calif. - Senior Gillian Morgan's cross-cage lob shot found the back of Cal State Northridge's goal during UC Santa Barbara's first possession in sudden victory overtime, propelling the Gauchos to a 6-5 victory over the top-seeded Matadors in the Big West Conference Tournament's semifinal game on Saturday afternoon at Pacific's Chris Kjeldsen Pool. The Gauchos (17-11) will take on No. 3 seed UC Irvine in Sunday's championship game at 3:45 p.m.

Amanda Tipton scored first for the Gauchos with 3:50 to go in the first quarter. With 1:39 to go in the period, Whitney Delgado tallied the first Matador goal, tying the game at one apiece.

Morgan and Northridge's Renee Garglulo exchanged a pair of six-on-five goals within one possession of each other to open scoring in the second quarter. Claire Buchanan put the Gauchos ahead once again with a goal out of center with 2:21 to go in the first half, but Alison Pierce tied things back up at 3-3 with 43 seconds on the clock with a power play goal.

The Matadors captured their first lead of the game just a minute into the fourth quarter when Jessica Coy scored a five-meter penalty shot. The advantage was short lived though, as Kathryn Nelson locked things back up at four apiece with a counter attack goal.

Both teams battled through eight minutes of scoreless action in the fourth quarter and when regulation time ended, the score remained deadlocked at 4-4, sending the game into overtime.

Northridge's Sydney Sonoda regained the lead for the Matadors with 1:04 to go in the first overtime period, but during the next possession, Tipton scored to tie the game again, 5-5.

Coy won the sprint to open the sudden victory overtime, granting the Matadors the first possession of the period. The Gaucho defense played tight and Northridge was unable to get a shot off, eventually dumping the ball as the shot clock expired.

Gaucho goalkeeper, Chelsea Carrillo got the ball down court and UCSB began to move the ball around the perimeter. After several passes, Morgan received the ball in the corner on the left side. She tossed a lob shot that landed in the far right corner of Northridge's goal, giving UCSB the 6-5 sudden victory win.

"The team is ecstatic," head coach Wolf Wigo said shortly after the win. "We got a little luck with the coin toss (that granted UCSB the fourth seed into the tournament) and we took full advantage. We did everything well yesterday (in the first round win over Pacific) and I think we had the advantage coming into today's game - we were ready to go from the first whistle. Everyone played awesome and they are all pumped right now."

UCSB will carry a four-game win streak - including two overtime victories - into tomorrow's game. The championship is scheduled for 3:45 p.m. and will be broadcast live online at BigWest.TV.

Earlier this year UCSB Athletics unveiled the BE Great initiative. BE Great is dedicated to maximizing leadership ability, strong on-campus interaction, and general welfare for all 450 student-athletes and Intercollegiate Athletics staff at UC Santa Barbara. BE Great also focuses on personal and career development, diversity, and social awareness, along with ensuring academic success. UCSB has a 92% student-athlete graduation rate.

#17 UC Santa Barbara 6, #13 Cal State Northridge 5

       1   2   3   4   OT1   OT2   SV    Final
UCSB   1   2   1   0   1     0     1     6
CSUN   1   2   1   0   1     0     0     5

UCSB Goals: Gillian Morgan 2, Claire Buchanan 1, Kathryn Nelson 1, Amanda Tipton 2.
UCSB Saves: Chelsea Carrillo 13.

CSUN Goals: Jessica Coy 1, Whitney Delgado 1, Renee Garglulo 1, Alison Pierce 1, Sydney Sonoda.
CSUN Goalie Saves: Jillian Stapf 14.

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