UCSB Remains Unbeaten, Throttles Boise St. 3-0 in Home Opener

Photo by Brian Edwards
Photo by Brian Edwards

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – UC Santa Barbara's hot start to the year continued in its 2018 home opener Friday evening at Harder Stadium, as the Gauchos took down Boise State 3-0 for their third straight win to open the season.

This marks the second time in three years and just the third time in 25 seasons that UCSB has started 3-0. With goals coming from Shaelan Murison, Christine Maurer and Katherine Sheehy, the Gauchos have now outscored their opponents 12-1 for the year.

"We turned what was a shaky start into an overall good performance," head coach Paul Stumpf said. "We were solid defensively and we had some nice variety in our attack."

Murison maintained what has been a perfect start to her junior campaign, putting away the game's opening goal in the 31st minute. Following a throw-in on the left side by senior Ryan Kokoska, Murison spun away from her defender just outside the 18-yard box and curled a perfectly placed shot off the inside of the far post. Murison is the only Gaucho to score in every game so far this year, having scored once in all three outings.

UCSB would strike again in the opening minutes of the second half, with Maurer notching her second score of the year. A ball sent down the right flank for junior forward Katherine Sheehy was taken by the defender, but Sheehy chased it down and won it back. She then sent a low cross to the near post which Maurer collected, turned and fired high into the back of the net from the edge of the six-yard box.

Sheehy would pick up a goal of her own in the 65th minute, rising over her defender to head one in on a Kokoska free kick. Kokoska is the second Gaucho already this season to claim a two-assist effort, doing so one game after Murison did it.

A relentless UCSB attack saw the home side put up 22 shots with nine on frame, compared to seven and three for Boise State. Freshman goalkeeper Natalie Hill (3-0) earned her second straight clean sheet after tallying three saves.

The Gauchos' two-game home stand concludes this Sunday against Brown in a 1:00 p.m. matchup at Harder Stadium.