SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Indiana Mead played her best game of the 2013 season on Sunday and it paid off in the 88th-minute with her first goal, giving UC Santa Barbara a 1-0 win over visiting Cincinnati.
The goal came at the 87:36 mark when a Madison Beckley cross from the left side was popped in the air by Bearcat defender Kate Schmidt and Mead was there, about five yards in front of the left post, to head the ball past goalkeeper Natalie Smith.
"We changed things up at halftime," said UCSB head coach Paul Stumpf. "Both teams play similar systems, but they were playing it better than us and we thought we'd change things up. After the first 10 or 15 minutes of the second half we took over and the stats show that."
The Gauchos outshot Cincinnati by a 14-5 count and none of the Bearcats' shots were on goal. Mead had a team-high five shots for Santa Barbara.
UCSB came close to breaking the scoreless tie five minutes earlier when Geneve Dromensk powered a shot from above the right side of the 18-yard box. The missile eluded Smith's leaping attempt at a save and hit the upper-left corner of the goal.
"I really credit our players with taking control of this game in the second half," Stumpf said. "We started out a little sluggish, but we were able to turn that around."
The Gauchos defense was once again stellar. It was the team's second straight shutout and third of the season, all at Meredith Field at Harder Stadium. Sophomore goalkeeper Beth Ritter was the beneficiary of the effort as she posted her second win and shutout of the campaign. In her last two games, Friday's 1-0 overtime win over Pacific and the win over Cincinnati, she needed just one total save.
UCSB played a physical match and that was reflected in the 12-5 foul count.
The win improves the Gauchos' record to 3-2-1 while the Bearcats drop to 0-5-1.
UCSB returns to action on Friday, Sept. 13 when it hosts Cal State Bakersfield in 7:00 p.m. contest at Meredith Field at Harder Stadium. Tickets are available online by clicking here, by calling 805-893-UCSB (8272) or from the Ticket Office in the Intercollegiate Athletics Building on campus.