Gauchos Blank Westmont in Exhibition Game, 2-0

Hanna DeWeest
Hanna DeWeest

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – On Saturday evening, UC Santa Barbara forward Shaelan Murison was peppering Westmont College goalkeeper Gabi Haw with shots for much of the first half of the annual exhibition contest between the schools. In the 26th minute, Murison broke through for the only goal her team would need in a 2-0 win. 

Murison, a First Team All-Big West Conference selection in 2018 and a Preseason All-Big West selection in 2019, played just 53 minutes in the game against the Warriors, but in those minutes, she produced eight total shots, six of which were on goal. Haw saved the first five before Murison scored at the 25:37 mark in the first half to give the Gauchos a 1-0 lead. 

"Shae is an outstanding goal-scorer," said UCSB head coach Paul Stumpf. "She has really established herself as a go-to goal scorer for us." 

Murison's goal came when she found a loose ball in the box. Haw tried to smother it, but Murisoh kept it alive, dribbled in, got behind the keeper and scored from about 19 yards out.

The Gauchos' first goal seemed inevitable. They tallied their second in the 40th minute when Jessica Wright flicked a pass to junior transfer Angelica Ortega in the box and Ortega lifted shot past Haw and into the lower right portion of the goal, giving UCSB a 2-0 lead.

After starting most of the regulars to begin the second half, the Gauchos did a complete line change early, entering an all new lineup in the 54th minute. The newcomers didn't score, but they held firm and the score remained 2-0. 

Defensively, Santa Barbara allowed a mere one shot on goal. The team's third goalkeeper of the night, freshman Evann Smith, produced the team's sole save. 

In all, the Gauchos finished with 16 shots, 11 of which were on target. In addition to Murison's eight shots, sophomore Jessica Wright had four, two on goal. She also assisted on Ortega's tally late in the first half.

Senior Hanna DeWeese started the match in goal and was able to finish her first half of action without needing to produce a save. Sophomore Natalie Hill logged nearly 23 minutes and also did not face a shot. Smith played 22 minutes and had the team's only save. 

"Overall, I thought we fared well tonight," Stumpf said. "We were able to get several players into the match and, for me, that was important. We're still without a couple of our regulars, but when we open on Thursday (vs. Minnesota on Aug. 22) I hope they're ready."

UCSB will host the University of Minnesota on Thursday, Aug. 22 at 7:00 p.m. in a match at Harder Stadium that will mark the beginning of the regular season. The contest against the Golden Gophers will open the Gauchos' best non-conference regular season slate in several years. They will also host San Jose State (Aug. 25), Cal (Aug. 30), Grand Canyon (Sept. 13), Stanford (Sept. 15) and Fresno State (Sept. 30). They will also host four Big West matches.

Fans are encouraged to purchase season tickets by clicking here. Or, they can call 805-893-UCSB or drop by the Intercollegiate Athletics Ticket Office in the ICA Building on the UCSB Campus.