UCSB Loses Another Heartbreaker on OT PK, 2-1

Erin Ortega (Photo by Tony Mastres)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - History repeated itself on Sunday and unfortunately for the UC Santa Barbara women's soccer team, it was an event they would have rather not relived.

For the second straight game, the Gauchos lost on a penalty kick in overtime, falling to the Cal State Fullerton 2-1 on Sunday afternoon at Meredith Field at Harder Stadium. 

Less than 48 hours earlier, on Friday night, UCSB (5-7-2 overall, 0-2-0 in the Big West) lost to Long Beach State in the exact same manner.  That time, as well as Sunday, the Gauchos were called for a handball inside the penalty box.  This time, it was the Titans' (6-5-2, 1-1-0) Kishi Smith pounding the PK past goalkeeper Makenna Henry at the 93:42 mark of the match. 

All of the scoring in the match came late. 

The game was scoreless into the 82nd minute, but UCSB broke through first.  At 81:56, Katy Roby took a corner kick from the right side.  The ball was punched out by Titan goalkeeper Lindsey Maricic and collected by Gaucho defender Alexa Stringer.  Stringer slid to her right, faked a shot and tapped the ball to Indiana Mead who was on her right.  Mead one-timed a shot into the center of the net for her second goal of the season.

Fullerton didn't waste time getting the equalizer.  At 86:58, Smith, who had just re-entered the match, took a corner from the left side.  The ball eluded the punch out by Henry and Stacey Fox came in from the right post and headed a shot into the upper right corner.

Fullerton came close to scoring minutes before the first score of the game, getting three shots from point-blank range, two of which were headed off the line by Katy Roby and a third that was saved by Henry.

The first half was scoreless, but it wasn't lacking for chances.  The Gauchos had 11 shots, including four on goal.  Freshman Miranda Cornejo had the last one during a scramble in front of the goal in the final minute.  She pounded a loose ball that was stonewalled by Titan goalkeeper Lindsey Maricic.  Allie Ariniello rebounded Cornejo's shot and got another off, but it was blocked.

Fullerton's best opportunity in the first half came in the 35th minute when Nikki McCants took a cross immediately in front of the right post.  She attempted to kick the ball in with her right foot as her back was to the goal, but Henry dove to her right and made the save.

Henry finished with six saves while Maricic had five for the Titans.  UCSB outshot Fullerton 17-15, but had seven on goal as compared to Fullerton's nine. 

UCSB will hit the road for its next two games, traveling the UC Irvine on Friday, Oct. 7 for a 7:00 p.m. match against the Anteaters and to Cal State Northridge on Sunday, Oct. 9 at 5:00 p.m.  The Gauchos return home to host UC Riverside on Sunday, Oct. 16 at 5:00 p.m.

Tickets are available from the Ticket Office in the Intercollegiate Athletics Building on campus, by calling 805-893-UCSB or online by clicking here.