No. 5 Gauchos Make a Statement as they Tally Three More Wins

Brian Shoemaker (By Ron Robertson)
Brian Shoemaker (By Ron Robertson)

REDLANDS, Calif. -- No. 5 UC Santa Barbara (6-0) remains undefeated after earning three more wins this Sunday at the Inland Empire Classic.  After an 18-10 victory over No. 11 UC San Diego in their home opener on Saturday, the Gauchos kept the momentum rolling with a series of wins at Thompson Aquatic Center to conclude the weekend. 

Remaining perfect for the 2012 season, UCSB downed Redlands (1-7), No. 14 Santa Clara (3-1), and Whittier (2-5) in day two of Inland Empire Classic action.  The Gauchos are amidst their best start since the 1988 season when they opened the year with nine straight victories.  Heading in the right direction, the Gauchos have now posted defeats over six straight opponents in non-conference play.

In a 23-2 win over Redlands, UCSB jumped ahead of the Bulldogs 12-1 after two periods.  Senior Brian Shoemaker and juniors Matt Gronow and Evan Dellinger each earned hat tricks to lead the Gauchos scoring. 

Getting in on the action, five more Gauchos contributed two goals each, while another four netted one goal apiece to finalize a whopping 21-goal Bulldog deficit.  UCSB's offense proved unstoppable, outscoring the Bulldogs, 11-1, in the second half of the game to stamp a victory. 

Just as spectacular, the defense held their opponents to a mere two goals.  Freshmen Andrew Patterson and Chris Whitelegge both shined in the goal with eight saves each. 

Against a tough Santa Clara squad, UCSB was a force to be reckoned with in a 13-7 victory over the 14th ranked Broncos.  Immediately out to a 5-1 lead by the half, the Gauchos moved into comfortable position as they advanced the score to 11-2 at the conclusion of the third quarter. 

Leading offensively, Dellinger tallied three goals to earn his second hat trick of the day.  Truly a team effort, seven additional Gauchos scored while senior goalkeeper Myles Christian led the defense with eight saves.

In the final game of the weekend, UCSB trumped Whittier 26-9 to seal the Gauchos' 6-0 record. 

The squad had a season-high 26 goals putting forth their most explosive offensive showing yet.  Gronow led the scoring with five goals, as sophomores Jake Miller and Eric Van de Mortel followed close behind netting four goals each.  Leading the defense for the second time of the day, Patterson earned five saves to close the door on the Broncos.

The fifth-ranked Gauchos will be back in action on September 15-16 at Stanford's Avery Aquatic Center to compete in the NorCal Tournament.